“A good man always knows his limitations.” A statement made by Clint Eastwood to his lieutenant in “Magnum Force (1973)-“one of his “Dirty Harry” series, when the lieutenant was bragging that he’d never taken his gun from its holster.
Jesus managed his human limitations-and thus stress, well. Although frequently thronged by crowds demanding his attention, he never burned out. And at the end of his ministry, he was able to say, “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4 NLT).
Stress is inevitable, but how we manage it determines whether it becomes unhealthy. I’ve not always done an exceptional job like Jesus. I’ve stressed myself by taking on more than I could handle, by failing to delegate, and by being a yes man. I’ve also worked for employers who stressed me with their demands. I had no choice; I couldn’t or either wouldn’t walk away. And like most people, finances have caused me stress most of my life.
The three main sources of stress are others, occupations, and finances. I can’t make stress disappear, but I can learn to manage it so it doesn’t affect my health. I can unload it. On occasion, Jesus simply walked away from the crowds. He needed rest. I can also rearrange what’s causing the stress. My want to’s versus my can do’s is often the main problem to begin with. Priority scales are essential. I can also learn to say “no.” What I’m doing may all be good as it was for Jesus, but too many good things can still stress me.
Doing what Jesus gives us to do will never result in stress. If it is for you, re-examine what you’re doing, how much you’re doing, and if you’re doing it in the right order.
Prayer: Teach us all-wise Father to manage our stress so we can be fully effective for You.