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Pressure and stress

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Pressure and stress are major causes of sickness and emotional affliction. We all have to deal with it in our lives. The Apostle Paul said, “I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is to daily pressure upon me of concern for all the church (2 Corinthians 11:27-28). We don’t often think of Paul battling pressure and stress, but he did.

Dennis P. Slevin’s book, “Executive Survival Manual,” deals with the stress issues executives must face. The book lists stress factors in life-change units. The more units in one’s life, the greater the risk of emotional and physical illness in the future. If you had to endure 200 to 299 life-change units in a given year, your chance of some kind of illness within thinnest year was 50 percent. Let’s look at their list of life-change units:

1. Death of a spouse — 100

2. Divorce — 73

3. Marital separation — 65

4. Detention in jail — 63

5. Major personal injury — 53

6. Marriage — 50

7. Being fired at work — 47

8. Retirement — 45

9. Pregnancy — 40

10. Major change in finances — 38

11. Child leaving home (college, marriage) — 38

12. In-law troubles — 29

13. Troubles with boss — 23

14. Change in residence — 20

15. A new school — 20

16. Vacation — 13

17. Christmas — 12

18. Traffic ticket — 11

19. Income taxes — 11

What do we do as Christians? 

1. Recognize you have a stress problem

2. Give yourself a break — remember you are human and not “Super Christian” Take time and space to rest.

3. Turn to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7) God’s gift of peace and help really works.

4. Meditate on the word of God. Some stress relief verses: 2 Peter 1:3; Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:27; and Psalm 4:8.

5. Spend time giving thanks and praise. It is hard to be stressed and praise God at the same time.

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