3 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Your Schedule
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health released a study that said executive stress costs the country twenty billion dollars a year. They estimate the total cost of stress on the work force is now a hundred billion dollars a year. That's a lot of money. Is there an antidote to surviving your stressed out schedule? Today we're looking at "Surviving My Schedule."
Is there an antidote, a way out of the stress?
1. I LINE UP MY PRIORITIES
Line up our priorities -- put first things first. Focus your time. You don’t need to do everything. We don't have time to do everything, we've got to make a choice.
Proverbs 17:24 (CEV) Anyone with wisdom knows what makes good sense, but fools can never make up their minds.
Can any of us identify with that verse? Sometimes we just can’t decide what to do next. We just can’t make up our minds. Or we find ourselves trying to do thirty things at once, running from one thing to the next to the next.
We've got to line up our priorities and decide what's important, because we don't have time for everything. In fact, we have just enough time and energy to do God’s will for our lives. Anything beyond that is going to stress us out.
Proverbs 12:11 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.
We've got to learn the difference between urgent and important. We've got to learn the difference between activity and accomplishment. Do you ever catch yourself majoring on the minors? Some things are not necessarily wrong, they're just not necessary.
2. I LIGHTEN UP MY ATTITUDE
The Bible teaches that stress is not an event. Stress is an attitude. We could take two people, put them in the exact same situation. One of them is cool and the other is uptight. It's not the event, it's how we handle it. How do we respond to it?
Proverbs 12:25 (NIV) Anxiety weighs down the heart.
Proverbs 14:30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body
Rule number one in stress management: Don't sweat the small stuff! Rule number two: It's all small stuff. It is all small stuff in God's eyes. It's minor by comparison.
3. I LOOK UP TO GOD
Proverbs 10:27 Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life,
Isn't that a great promise? Are you stressed out because of your schedule? This is the most important one. Stress is a warning light. Whenever I get under stress it means I've taken my eyes off the Lord. It means I've started looking at something else. I'm looking at the circumstance instead of looking at the Lord.
Some of us say, "I need more time!" God says, no we don't. We need more time with God. We don't need more time. We all have the same amount of time -- 168 hours a week. What we need is more time with God. That's what expands our day.
Prov 14:26 Those who fear the Lord are secure;
Fear here means "reverence." Those who reverence the lord are secure. What does reverence mean? It means to take God seriously. He's not an afterthought.
The reason we get under stress in our schedule is because 1. we take ourselves too seriously, and 2. we don't take God seriously enough. That's why we get under stress.
Are you making time to get to know God? I'm not saying taking time, I'm saying making time. We say, "I don't have time to sit down and pray everyday. I don't have time to sit down and read the Bible." Then we're too busy! When we study the life of Jesus we discover no matter how busy Jesus got He took time to pray. A daily quiet time is a great decompression chamber. A de-stressor.