TOPIC: A VITAL KEY TO RELIEVING STRESS
Scripture: “…Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34 (AMPC)
We spend a great deal of energy trying to take care of ourselves and obtain what we want and need. Believe it or not, this is very stressful. Why? Because God has not designed us to be selfish and focused on ourselves. He wants to take care of us while we focus on being a blessing to other people.
John Bunyan said, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” How much time do you put into thinking about what you can do for someone else? We might say, “The more the merrier.” In other words, the less you focus on yourself and the more you focus on others, the happier you will be.
Obsession with self is a breeding ground for stress, pressure, and anxiety. But blessing someone else and worrying about yourself at the same time is nearly impossible. God’s Word is full of instructions about how we should treat others. It is time we start taking these directives seriously, realizing that if Jesus mentions our treatment of others so often, He must want us to pay attention to it.
The reason He emphasizes the way we relate to other people is that He wants us to enjoy the life He has provided for us, and He knows we cannot ever do so if we are self-focused.
Romans 8:28 (ESV) says that we …know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. God can take even the hurts and wounds we endure and use them for good in our lives. They won’t last forever, and He will use them to strengthen us and to bless and help others.
Tell God what you need and want and then leave it in His hands as you spend your time blessing others.
Prayer Starter: Father, help me be less self-focused and more focused on being a blessing to others. Thank You for helping me. In Jesus’ name, amen.