Don’t Stress Out!

Philippians 4:4-7

Let Jesus make you into joyful people. Rejoice, I say! Be gentle with people. Jesus is right there, so don’t stress out! Bring what’s on your mind, along with your gratitude, to prayer. When you do – it’s beyond explaining how it happens – your mind and heart will be at peace, in touch with Jesus and with the eternal.

My mother used to say you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Behind all the excuses people give for not wanting any part of Christianity may well be that so many Christians tend to be dour, pessimistic folk. Sometimes its the feeling that you have to watch your step or someone will get upset with you. Other times it’s all the talk about how hard it is to keep the church up and running. “Maintenance mode.” Nobody wants to sign on for that!

Dour Christians and stuck churches are not what Paul had in mind. Despite his reputation, Paul, like Jesus, wanted people to enjoy life. And it’s hard to enjoy life when people are so rough on each other and so stressed out about so many things. In this regard, prayer helps. For one thing, it can help balance what we need with what we already have. And, though prayer is not a substitute for actually dealing with the problems that face us or for doing the work that needs done, regular meditation provides a space to expand our vision, explore new approaches, and gather strength for the tasks at hand.

Stop. Don’t take it out on someone else. Don’t freak out!
Clear your mind. Relax. Breathe. Be grateful.