Stressed out lately? Well, stress happens. You may wake up one morning and suddenly you’re faced with all kinds of stress. Or you may go to the office and stress is just waiting for you (it may be your boss, your office mate, or just the pile of papers on your desk). Even at night, just when you thought everything will be peaceful, stress suddenly appears. How do you overcome stress?
You talk to yourself. Really. To be exact, you need to ask yourself five questions.
- What do I know for sure?
- Do I care to know?
- How can I be sure?
- Does it matter?
- What can I do?
These questions may not necessarily remove all your stress. In fact, some forms of stress can actually be good for you (but not too much). But these questions will help you to focus your mind instead of being controlled by your feelings. Each question may trigger other questions but the important thing is to focus. Move through each question slowly, answering them as best as you can, one at a time.
I will tackle each of these questions in this series of posts. I will begin with the first one, “What do I know for sure?” Let me break down this question into three important realities.
You do not know everything
Yeah. You wish you can know everything. But the truth is, you cannot. Especially those things that are hidden in the human heart. Especially the heart of another person. You cannot know the intentions or motives of another person’s heart. So don’t act or behave as if you know. You also don’t know how things will turn out. You can guess, but you cannot really know for sure. Stop responding to triggers as if you know everything. Only God knows everything.
If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:20)
You can know something
Now don’t be discouraged. You can know something. You can know your own heart — well at least, to a certain degree.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? (1 Corinthians 2:11)
You cannot really know everything about your own heart, and sometimes your own heart can deceive you.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
But you can know something about anything. Only…
You need to be sure about what you know
This is important. Our minds can easily make up stories. We can imagine things that are not really true. We can ascribe evil intents to people without really knowing for sure if they have those thoughts. So whatever it is we think we know, we need to be sure about it. This is not really about how we feel about what we know. We can be sure about what we know, and we can be sincere, but we can be sincerely wrong. See to it that you do not end up believing the wrong things.
Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:2)
As a Christian, I know three things that I can be sure of, because God has revealed this through His word and He has confirmed it through the experiences of many people down through the centuries.
- God is good (Mark 10:18).
- God is able (Ephesians 3:20-21).
- God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9).
I may not know everything. I may also know a few things, but I cannot be sure of all of them. But these three things I can be sure of, because God has revealed them to me (and to you) through His word, the Bible.
What about you? What do you know for sure? It’s important to remember that we should only react if it’s based on a fact.