Question: Fighting Off That Stress

Anonymous asked:

Hello! How are you doing? I wanna say, thanks for answering people’s questions and concerns on here. I was wondering how you deal with stress. I’ve been more stressed lately than I have been in a while, and it’s starting to affect me physically. I’m continuously praying because the effects are scaring me, and I’ve already set up a doctor’s appointment. If you have any tips on dealing with stress and trusting God through it, I would appreciate it greatly. Thanks, and God bless!


Thanks for the awesome question and for your very kind words.

You know, I’ve heard plenty of teaching on stress and I’m a Psych major, so mostly I hear the same thing: “Are you stressed? Well, stop it.”

But I know that doesn’t help. It also doesn’t help to try that same technique on anger, lust, greed, jealousy, grief, or loneliness. It’s like trying to stop a bus with your body weight.

The other thing I hear is, “If you really knew the peace of Christ, you wouldn’t be stressed out.” I wish it was that simple. Even when Jesus and I are most tight, I still get anxious like crazy.

The thing is: Stress is completely unavoidable. I think people tend to get stressed about getting stressed, as if somehow they “shouldn’t be if they’re in Christ.” But with all the demands, deadlines, and due dates of life, it’s completely understandable that you’d feel an anxiety about what needs to be done and what is not done.

That’s just life. Half the battle of fighting stress is to simply anticipate your bodily changes and to recognize what is happening. That’s true with temptation, with conflict, with fear of the future. To be able to say, “Here it is. The pressure’s on. Body is freaking out, right on time.” And then the other half of the battle is to move forward anyway.


There is plenty of practical stuff I could say here. You probably already know about —

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Quote: Endless Jewel

I’m starting to find that everyone’s Christian faith is utterly, uniquely different. Not so different on loving Jesus and loving people — but the way we wrestle through doctrine by strict academia or by poetic reflection, how we sing at the top of our lungs or in quiet osmosis, how some of us pray at sunrise in a pew or at three a.m. on a beach, how some of us are dying to journal or would rather die than journal, how our political tensions clash so broadly and brutally, how one forgives so quickly and the other is bitter indefinitely, how some of us are strong in faith or we’re faith-weaklings, how we each hold onto quirks like Bible translations and worship genres and preaching styles, how we like to gather in crowds of thousands or a group of a dozen.

There’s no need to fight over these things. No need to accuse another of being wrong, or to try to be better than the ‘other’ church, or to recast the same mold. We are so many shades of an endless jewel, a glorious community of unified diversity fueled by the endless imagination of God. I hope we don’t dash ourselves on our personalities. There is room for you and for me in this Body.

— J.S.