Friday, April 27, 2007

Too Blessed To Be Stressed?

You know, I was thinking. I have seen the statement "too blessed to be stressed" on many church signs lately and it made me stop and think. If I truly believe that God is in control and that I am in His will then will I experience stress? I think that this is a good way to look at life in general but I do not believe that believers don't experience stress. More than that, I don't believe that it is a transgression for a believer to experience stress.
You see, in the garden just before He was arrested the scriptures say that Jesus' sweat was mixed with blood. Why is that? Well, here's the Pudgeman version of this story. I believe that Jesus was under a tremendous amount of stress because of what lay ahead of Him. You know that whole carrying the sin of the world on your shoulders and being forsaken by God thing even if it was just for a moment. Jesus experienced stress! It was a crucial time not just for Him but for all of God's children on earth. But remember that Jesus also prayed "Father not my will but your's be done."
The question that we should ask is not whether or it is a sin to experience stress but more than that, what are we stressing about. Now, there is a difference in having stress and worrying about something. Worry is a whole different topic that can be addressed at another time. Worry will cause stress, even a tremendous amount of stress but I am not talking about that. I am talking about the stress that we have from just daily life. Deadlines, demanding schedules and keeping on top of lifes little challenges are just a few things that cause me stress.
So what's the answer? Once again here is the Pudgeman interpretation. Instead of saying that I'm "too blessed to be stressed" I think it is more in line with God's word to say I'm "too blessed to keep my stress"! You see, we cannot control what we feel we can only control what we do with our feelings. When I recognize that I am feeling stress I personally need to identify the stressers that are there, make a plan to handle the things that are causing me stress and then turn that all over to God for His intervention. If I cannot do anything about those stressers then I have got to learn to let it go! I know, that is easier said then done but it is possible if we really give control over to God.
What is causing you stress today? What can you do about it? What plan do you need to implement in order to handle your stress? While in Gambler's Anonymous I leaned the serenity prayer that goes like this: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference." Be blessed beyond belief today.


At 8:16 AM, Blogger Swinging Sammy said...

I agree, pudge, too many times we come up with catchy little slogans that are not at all based in scripture. Thanks for the reminder, and be blessed with or without stress today!

At 10:02 AM, Anonymous tom said...

Pudge, as usual, you have inspired me! As I was reading your excellent post...I thought, when did stress become a sin? Is there an 11th commandment...thou shall not be stressed? There are only 3 kinds of people who have no stress: 1. Liars 2. The apathetic and 3. Dead people Everyone else has varying degrees of stress in their life. And many times, we have absolutely no control over many stressors. So, in the spirit of the Pudge man, I offer my humble revision:

When I am stressing, God is blessing.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Raivynn said...

Too many times people, believers and non-beleivers alike, get this notion that Christians should be something above human. That Christians should be free from all earthly taints, from all sins, and all appearance of sin. That Christians should all be Christ-like; perfect, without blemish or fault.

Ain't gonna happen.

And any Christian who claims they are is lying.

God does not expect us to be perfect. If He did, He wouldn't have sent His Son. If He did, He wouldn't send His Spirit.

Christ died on the cross, shed His Blood for us, because we aren't perfect. His blood washes away all of our sins, all of our imperfections, all of our flaws, past, present, and future, because we cannot achieve this ourselves.

The act of asking God for fogiveness for our sins is not to gain forgiveness -- we already have that -- as much as it is an act of contrition. It is a time to ask Him for help in overcoming our mortal flaws, for aid in defeating our penchant to sin, for succor in our times of imperfection.

We, none of us, are perfect. And we won't achieve perfection until the Last Trump when we shed our mortal shells.

This is not to say Christians shouldn't strive towards that pefection, shouldn't try to be better than we are, shouldn't work towards exemplifying Him in word, deed, and thought. But we are still human, still imperfect, still mortal.

And it is only through the Grace of God, and the Bood of His Son, and the Love of His Spirit, that we will achieve that perfection.

Until then, we must rejoice that, even though we are flawed, we are forgiven.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

AMEN to all of you and your comments. Let's run away from false appearances and just try to be honest and loving with one another. B4T

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous wheresjim? said...

You know it occurred to me we are actually blessed by stress! The majority of our time is not on the mountain top. God did not say we would not have to walk through the valley or the fire or the darkness, He only told us we would not be alone and He would be there to look in our eyes when we come through!

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous beartracks said...

I typically grow more when I am stressed because I have to depend on God to bless me even more so when I don't deserve it.

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous wheresjim? said...

Psalm 103
A Psalm of David.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


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