Six Principles to Apply When Stressed

I found myself a little overwhelmed the other week. I was responsible for having food trucks at church and one of them broke down. I was the pastor on call, meaning I was the go-to for any counseling, care-calls, and hospital visits for our church folks. I also had 19 tasks on my to-do list that needed to get done that WEEK! I’m typically pretty positive, but found myself frustrated, anxious, and mentally exhausted.

God knew exactly what I needed and on Tuesday during a meeting at our Central offices, He reminded me that I needed to come to Him. That reminder was through the well know verse in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” I was allowing my weariness and burden to mess with my heart rather than taking those things to Jesus and letting Him refresh me. I needed Christ to re-center my life. Maybe you’ve been where I was or you’re there right now.

One of our Next Steps Directors gave us six principles to apply when we find ourselves stressed out and I wanted to share those with you. They’ve already reframed my life in a few weeks and hopefully they can be a help to you as you seek to find rest in Jesus.

1. Remember there’s only an audience of One – What you do is for God and the only approval you should be seeking is His.

2. It’s a process not a destination – Most of your life and what you do will be spent in process. Even when you do reach the “destination,” the culmination of all your work will be a lot shorter than the journey getting there.

3. Keep short accounts – Whatever is bothering you, deal with it! Whether that’s a conversation, a task, or needed change, don’t wait. If you never take action, the problem will never get resolved.

4. Empathy not identity – When working with people be careful not to immerse yourself so much that you begin to find your identity in their successes or failures. Yes, understand their hurt, pain, or burden, but it’s not up to you to change them. Only they can control what they do.

5. Do for a few what you want to do for everyone and then encourage others to do the same – You have a limited capacity to care for and equip people. Rather than stretch yourself thin and make little impact, choose a few you can truly impact by encouraging, empowering, and equipping them.

6. Have clear barriers between work and home-life – When you’re home, shut off work notifications, set clear expectations with your boss/co-workers, and let that work call go to voicemail. I know it’s easier said than done, but stop blurring the lines between work and home.

Which ones do YOU need to apply right now?

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