The Stress Factor

by Jan Silvious

I recently read an interesting passage in Kevin Leman's book, Why Women Get Stressed Out and What They Can Do About It, that tells us a great deal about the state of women in today's complex society: "Most people blame the stress they encounter on their marriage, their children, their financial situation, their job, or some other set of circumstances. When a boss gets on your case every morning, you can perceive it as a problem or you can realize the boss has arthritis and is never very human until after lunch. Unfortunately, in your case, the boss's crabby attitude really bothers you and you are just about ready to quit. "Why is it that Marge, whose desk is next to yours, just brushes off his tirades and even seems to curry his favor? The answer lies in perception. You perceived the boss one way; Marge perceives him another way. Your perception causes you great stress. Marge sails through without a qualm." How we look at a situation directly affects our stress level. In the Scriptures, we see the same sort of thing occurring with Mary and Martha. When Jesus came for a visit to their home, Mary's perception was, "This is a rare opportunity to learn from Him. I'm going to take advantage of it." Martha, on the other hand, "was distracted with all her preparations," and finally complained in exasperation: "Lord, do you not see that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Tell her to help me! (Luke 10:40). Jesus' words both soothed and corrected: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (vv. 41-42). What situation confronts you at work or at home that is causing you tension and stress? If you are "worried and bothered" about many things, and your blood pressure is rising, simply ask Jesus: "Lord, I need You to show me if my perceptions are correct-or if I'm making big deals where little deals will do." He will be faithful to help you choose "the good part, which shall not be taken away."
2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
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