Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The pressure cooker of life

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Life can be a stress, can't it? It seems like everytime we get something going well, something else comes along and messes it up. Endless waves of everyday pressure wear us down and pull us into a predictable sequence of events. So what do we do to prevent the stresses in our lives from overcoming us? We find out what's causing them in the first place. Let's identify a few things today that will cause us stress so we can try to avoid it in the future.

First, we try to accomplish too much-and end up neglecting our essential priorities. When people try to squeeze too many activities into 24 hours, something has to give. For many, it's our relationships with God, or the time we need to put into developing quality relationships with our mates and children.

Second, we aren't equipped to handle the communication and conflict problems we will inevitably encounter. Many Christians have mastered the art of appearing spiritual and happy on the outside. But once they enter their homes, they let down their guards and take out their frustrations on the people who mean the most to them.

Third, since we don't know how to deal with our relationship problems, we seek to escape from reality. We might do this by getting a job or spending more hours at work. Men can seek to escape through their pursuit of sports. Some women can escape by volunteer work. Others shop or escape to the movies, television or books.

All this puts more tension in our relationships, and eventually this leads to the ultimate escape: what I call "fantasy love." Most people who commit adultery do so to find the love and acceptance they once received from their mates.

The irony is that so many of us avoid taking the very step that would help solve our problems-prayer. After all, we have the Spirit of God living in us, available to give us the supernatural wisdom and power and peace we need to cope with whatever pressures we face (see Phil. 4:6,7). All we need to do is ask.

Praying for peace,
Pastor Mike


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