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The Stress DiseaseThe Stress Disease
by Larry Davies


    I don’t mean to complain but the last few weeks have been pretty stressful.

  • There have been staff changes at church and I’m training new employees
  • So many people are visiting our church. I need to meet them
  • Several church members have experienced tragedies and I must be there for them
  • My church has a bigger budget than ever and I have to help them pay it
  • My dog’s medicine keeps her awake all night and she’s driving me crazy
  • My computer has been in the shop which has kept me from doing my work
  • I’ve been stretched thin trying to handle sales of my new book

    Moan and groan! Have you noticed all the emphasis on me? Everything is about me! Whenever stress gets bad, it is often because of a dreaded disease known as: ME, MYSELF AND I. You’re afflicted when you make statements such as: “I must do everything myself if it’s to be done right! You just can’t find good help now! No one ever volunteers but me!”

    Are you catching on to the problem?

    The “me, myself and I” disease infects most of us occasionally, but if you don’t seek treatment you will suffer immeasurable pain, not to mention losing a few friends. Fortunately, God has a prescription for what ails us: quiet reflection, a measure of prayer and a solid dose of Bible study. For example:

Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

    The common interpretation of this passage is, “All of us are different with various talents and abilities.” But recently I noticed another lesson. Look at the second part of each sentence:

different kinds of spiritual gifts — but the same Holy Spirit

different kinds of service — but the same Lord

different ways God works — but it is the same God

It is God who is ultimately in control, not me.
    The emphasis was never meant to be on our gifts, however good they may seem to be. Three times the author makes the point , “the same Holy Spirit ... the same Lord ... the same God.” In other words, we all have different gifts, but we are all coordinated and encouraged by the same Lord. It is God who is ultimately in control, not me. When I put the emphasis on me, myself and I the result is always the same: chaos and stress. But with God in control there is always another way. Look at my complaints again:

  • There have been staff changes at church and I’m training new employees — Every staff change has resulted in good things for our church and for me.

  • So many people are visiting our church. I need to meet them — And this is supposed to be a problem? Come on Larry, get real!

  • Several church members have experienced tragedies and I must be there for them — Yet in the midst of those tragedies, I found God giving comfort in so many ways.

  • My church has a bigger budget than ever and I have to help them pay it — Each time the budget grows we are touching another life for God.

  • My dog’s medicine keeps her awake all night and she’s driving me crazy — But the medicine is also keeping her alive and I’m thankful.

  • My computer has been in the shop which has kept me from doing my work — Maybe this is God’s way of giving me extra time for prayer.

  • I’ve been stretched thin trying to handle sales of my new book — The book is selling well so why am I upset?

    As, Paul promised, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” Our church functions smoothly and my stress level goes down considerably when I learn to stop thinking everything revolves around me and trust God to provide the people and resources we need. “Lord, please replace my stress with faith in You!” Now, if God would only help my dog sleep all night.

      © 2001, Larry Davies. Used by permission. From Larry Davies's "Sowing Seeds of Faith" email newsletter. If you like this devotion you will love the book: Breaking the Peanut Butter Habit: Following God’s Recipe for a Better Life Now on sale through Larry’s website.

      Title: "The Stress Disease"
      Author: Larry Davies
      Publication Date: April 4, 2002


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