“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
William James, 19th-century American philosopher and brother of novelist Henry James, said that “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” I would suggest that the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one priority over another.
You see, when we get right down to it, stress is the result of misplaced priorities. Priorities are those things that are most important to us.
When we know what is really important to us, we can build our lives around those priorities. When we know our priorities, it becomes easier to make decisions based on our priorities and not on factors unrelated to our priorities. And when we make decisions based on our priorities, we eliminate stress.
So, the first step to de-stressing is to establish our priorities.
God has given you a purpose in life, and He has also given you enough time to fulfill that purpose. Years ago, I was at a point in my life where I was continually overwhelmed by all I had to do. I was burning the candle at both ends, but still I couldn’t seem to finish what I needed to do each day.
I complained to God that I could not possibly get everything done. Expecting a little sympathy, what I got instead was a firm, but loving, reprimand. “MaryAnn,” God said, “you always have enough time to do what I have called you to do.”
WOW! Talk about a paradigm shift! Those words transformed my life (as God’s words have a way of doing :)). I realized that many of the activities in which I was engaged were not part of God’s purpose for my life. So, I eliminated the activities and focused on those things that I was called to do. In other words, I focused on my priorities.
Establishing Right Priorities
So, how do we establish right priorities? Here are four surefire keys:
1–PRAY. Ask God to show you why He put you here on this earth. He will.
2–CONSIDER YOUR DESIRES. What do you love to do? What would you do for free if you did not have to earn a living?
3–CONSIDER YOUR TALENTS. What are you good at? What talent of yours elicits positive feedback from others?
4–LEARN TO SAY “NO!” Before making a decision, ask Holy Spirit what He wants you to do in a given situation. Many times, when you are ready to say yes, Holy Spirit will tell you to say no. And vice versa, of course. This is the reason it is so important to get God’s mind on our decisions. In my coaching practice, I’ve discovered that many people are stressed simply because they are afraid to say no.
Life is short. We must not waste it on activities that are not part of our calling. We must be good stewards of the time God has given us to fulfill our purpose. As we steward our time and our talents, we will get out of our stress mess and begin to enjoy the abundant life Jesus died to give us.
NOTE: If you are struggling to get out of your stress mess, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be taking the first step toward getting out of your mess of stress!
Now, it’s YOUR turn: What are some steps you’ve taken to eliminate stress from your life? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!
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3 thoughts on “ARE YOU A MESS OF STRESS?”
You are so right about the idea of stress coming from misplaced priorities. I have learned (and still learning) how to trust God with my time, abilities and priorities. So often I get stressed about what is not done or still needs to be done, when I need to trust God’s timing in everything. If I am doing everything that I can to the best of my ability for God, and it is what God wants me to do, then I have done all that I need to do. At that point I must stop worrying about what is not done, God will take care of that at the right time. God has the perfect plan for my life, if I will just trust Him to lead me as He said He would.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much for your comments, Tom. You make excellent points. Blessings to you!
Outstanding advice, Tom! Thank you so much for sharing it. I am sure it will help readers of this blog. Blessings to you!