What? Me Worry?

Too much stress is not a good thing.  What do you think about most?  What might you worry about …in the middle of the night or during the lonely daytime hours?  Is it something bad?  Is it guilt?  A difficult relationship or maybe deep regrets?  Is it a longing for something from the past or something you may never get in the future?  Is it constantly putting yourself under the load of unrealistic expectations?  What takes up most of your private thought life?  Does it cause you stress?

Too much tress can cause a lot of bad things.  Here are some of its’ bad effects:
• Headache
• Muscle tension or pain
• Chest pain
• Fatigue
• Change in sex drive
• Stomach upset
• Sleep problems
• Anxiety
• Restlessness
• Lack of motivation or focus
• Irritability
• Sadness or depression
• Overeating or under eating
• Angry outbursts
• Drug or alcohol abuse
• Tobacco use
• Social withdrawal
    … just to name a few.

Prolonged and relentless stress is even worse!  God designed our bodies to adapt instantly and protectively to dangerous situations.  He never intended us to live in a constant state of tension and anxiety.  When we experience an imminent threat or danger, our hypothalamus region at the base of our brain instantly releases a cocktail of hormones that give our body the ability to think, act, and respond almost super-humanly.  If you have ever been the brunt of someone else’s joke and experienced a momentary fright you notice that your heart continues racing for a few minutes.  If quick thinking is needed to flee a fire, our body responds appropriately.

Adrenaline and Cortisol can be our friends in such situations.  But, if our minds and bodies are constantly on edge because of excessive stress, we may face serious health problems as a result.
• stopping healthy functions that wouldn’t really be needed in a fight-or-flight situation.
       – suppresses our immune systems,
       – suppresses the digestive system,
       – suppresses the reproductive system,
       – weakens our heart and vascular system
       – and much more!

Stress can mess us up!  God never designed us to live that way!

Do you know what the most repeated command in the Bible is?

Fear not.

Yep, that’s it.  Don’t be afraid.  It’s not, “try” not to be fearful or anxious.  It’s . . . “don’t be.”

Jesus said in Luke 12:22-28:
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.

A little further down He says:

“Wherever your treasure is,
there the desires of your heart will also be.”

You know what we’re really afraid of?  Whatever will take away our treasure . . .

• If we love life – we’re afraid of getting sick or dying.
• If we love stuff – we’re afraid of misplacing it or it getting stolen.
• If we love power – we’re afraid of becoming powerless.
• If we love fame – we’re afraid of losing it.
• If we love the admiration of people – we’re afraid of becoming unpopular or losing our good looks.
• If we are insecure – we are afraid of losing our friends, money, health, or anything that place our trust in.
• If we idolize our kids – we fear them growing up and leaving.
• If we love ourselves – we’re afraid of growing old.

Jesus said:  Fear not!  “Don’t be afraid my little ones.”

Jesus said that no one can take away our treasure that’s stored in heaven.  I love Eugene Peterson’s take on this passage in Luke:  “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank robbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it?  The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be.

Let’s be people whose treasure is being stored up in heaven!  Let’s be people who treasure the King and the Kingdom.  Let’s be people who are grateful for what we have and generous with others.  Let our hearts dwell in eternity!

Love you guys,
Steve  🙂

One Response to “What? Me Worry?”

  1. Chuck theuring says:

    Thanks Steve

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