Articles by Stan Dean

Stressed Out?

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I attended a lecture once entitled, “Browned-Out, Burned-Out and Ready to Bug-Out!” Since I was going through a pretty stressful situation at the time it sounded like something I needed to hear- - and it was! Living in a fast-paced world it is easy for all of us to get too much on our plate. Not only that, but certain occupations include “headaches and gnawed fingernails” as a part of the job description.

I ran across a survey the other day entitled, “America’s Most Stressful Jobs.” Here are the top five: 1) Firefighter 2) Corporate Executive 3) Taxi Driver 4) Surgeon and 5) Police Officer. Now I know that if your profession did not make the list you probably feel that it should have and maybe so.  But truthfully there are stressors in everything.

However, that fact you already knew. The question is, “How do we deal with the stress of life? I believe the best solution is take notes from someone who has done it well. Who better than the apostle Paul? Someone might ask, “What did he know about stressors of the modern world?” In view of the circumstances he dealt with in his own day, I would answer, “Plenty!”

Take note of just some of his on-the-job problems: “Often threatened to be killed; beaten with whips and rods; stoned; experienced shipwreck; often in peril of waters, robbers, and fellowmen; and often forced to be hungry, thirsty, sleepy, cold and naked” (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23f). These are a few of the things that would definitely qualify Paul’s occupation as “high stress.” Even so, he chose a totally different outlook.

He knew that by being a Christian, the Lord had promised to see him through anything (cf. Matthew 28:20b). Thus, his driving (and sustaining) energy is found in passages like, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

So, if you are so stressed-out, you are ready to bug-out- - you probably need to make some changes. But be advised that the best change you will ever make is put your trust in the Power that is greater than you problems (cf. Ephesians 3:20).

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