- Erin E McEndree
Stress is so prevalent in the world. Just look at the statistics about the soaring number of people who medicate themselves just to get through their day. Pressure to be perfect, be liked, be heard, get more money, get ahead, be available at work 24/7, have a relationship, on and on until people break snap.
A Better Way to Live
There is a better way to live: SURRENDER. Surrender the need to be perfect and liked. Surrender the lie that money is the most important thing to solve your problems. Surrender your technology (right after you read this blog) for a better and healthier relationship with God and family.
Try to apply these 5 strategies to your life for a more stress-free life you have longed for.
Surrender: before a situation
Surrender: your offense
Surrender: your own way
Surrender: the hurt others have caused
Surrender before a situation
How many times have you dreaded seeing a person at the holidays or at the basketball game or at church? You know they are going to try and give you advice, gossip, ignore you or top your story. You know they will do all the annoying things they do because that is who they are. You sigh. You roll your eyes. And if your thoughts don’t stop there, they keep going in the negative direction and revisiting the bad situations.
Instead, surrender your thoughts and feelings to God before the situations occurs. Those negative thoughts easily pop into your mind from Satan, but you can decide beforehand that you won’t be offended and you will be gracious? You cannot change them, but you can change your attitude. Choose to be an instrument for good, not a broken, bitter vessel that is so common these days.
Choose to be an instrument for good, not a broken, bitter vessel that is so common these days.
2 Timothy 2:21, "Those who cleanse themselves from the latter [common use], will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work."
Surrender: Your Offense
How many times have you allowed someone else’s actions or words control you? Someone disagrees with you and you lash back. Someone says something to your kid and you start gossiping about that person. Someone lets you down. Someone does not keep a commitment. So, you start acting in a way that is ungodly and even hurtful in return.
Isaac Newton came up with a law that says, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” This might work in physics, but it is the exact opposite of what we are supposed to do as Christians.
Instead of allowing offense to guide you, surrender any word or action that control you to the Lord. Let him deal with it.
Romans 12:19, “Do not take revenge, my dear friend, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine of avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
You cannot change others, but you can surrender any and all responses and give it to the Lord. Allow Him to deal with the offender so you can have less stress.
How many times have you wanted something and you did not care about others? Many times on the show House Hunter, the wife is dead-set on what she wants. She does not care that it is way over their budget. She does not care that is puts a financial burden on the family. She does not care that she is not compromising. She puts her wants and desires first and she is rude, unrelenting and degrading to her husband. (I wonder if many of these couples are still married.)
Instead, surrender selfishness to the Lord. Practice putting others first.
Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather,in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Put yourself in their shoes when you are wanting your own way. It may be putting a burden on others you cannot see.
Surrender your own way
How many times have you found yourself in a bad situation and then decided to try and pray yourself out of it? I know some people who wished they would have prayed about a relationship before they married. Now, they pray for help in the disaster. I know people who rushed into buying a home who wished they would have slowed down and prayed for guidance first. I know someone who went through a divorce, a home foreclosure, selling her car, furniture and cancer who admits if she would have prayed through it, it would not have been so hard.
2 Kings 22:13. Hilkiah the high priest found the book of the law in the decimated temple and gave it Shaphan to give to King Josiah. King Josiah tore his robe and said, “Inquire of the Lord about what is written in the book…Great is his anger because of the men who have gone before us have not obeyed the words in this book…”
Instead of doing life alone, your own way, discover that surrendering your way through prayer allows for God’s best in your life and keeps you from crashing through some guardrails and off a cliff.
Surrender the hurt others have caused
How many times have you allowed your unforgiveness to eat at you; making you miserable? Many times the other person does not even know of the offense. You may even think that if you forgive them it is basically saying what they did was okay.
Instead of harboring bitterness that rots the bones, free the other person and yourself. Forgiveness does not equal trust. But forgiveness can equal you treating others like the child of God they are. He forgave and He can give you the strength and peace to forgive too, if you allow it.
“Forgive one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Instead of simmering in a pot of your own bitter stew, free yourself of the bondage of unforgiveness that only keeps you in chains. One of the best ways I know to do that is to pray for the other person daily.
Surrendering is a powerful tool, but rarely used because it takes an intentional effort to deny our fleshly feelings, actions and material desires. However, the one who even tries to master a surrender character, can feel and see the benefits.