5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Overcome Stress (Part 3)

Bong Baylon Devotions, Lifestyle, Stress, Work and Vocation

Just in case you’ve forgotten, we’re discussing five questions that you can ask yourself in order to overcome stress.

  1. What do I know for sure?
  2. Do I care to know?
  3. How can I be sure?
  4. Does it matter?
  5. What can I do?

We already talked about the first question: “What do I know for sure?” We also talked about the second question: “Do I care to know?” Now it’s time to discuss the third question: “How can I be sure?”

This is an interesting question because it demands that we humbly pursue the difficult path of peacemaking. Some people would rather dwell in their own anger rather than doing what is necessary to bring about peace. Instead of pursuing it by faith, we fight or take flight. Or we freeze. We avoid the hard work of talking, which is exactly what this question means. “How can I be sure?” Well, let’s talk.

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:2-9)

This passage teaches us to talk with at least four persons when we are under stress.

Talk with your “enemy.”

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Your “enemy” is the person who’s giving you a hard time. You consider him or her as an “enemy” even though that may not be totally true. In fact, if that’s how you feel about this person, then you should make the effort to talk with him or her. The Bible says that you must have “the same mind in the Lord.” You may be jumping into conclusions that are not warranted by the facts. You may simply be assuming things. So clarify, clarify, clarify. Don’t jump the gun, so to speak. “To be of the same mind” means that what is on your mind is the same thing as what is on the other person’s mind, and vice-versa. No second-guessing. Don’t insist on your point of view. Be open minded and allow the other person to explain. Do this in the presence of the Lord. Don’t behave like people in this world who do not know God. All they do is just fight with one another.

Talk with a mentor or mentors.

Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. It’s good to have other people who can see things objectively. Often when we are emotional we don’t see what is obvious. We only see what we want to see. So talk with someone who can assess the situation objectively, and who can give us sound advice coming from a wise heart. Don’t just talk with people who agree with you. In fact, it’s good if you belong to a community, so that there can be plenty of good counsel from people who are not emotionally involved in the situation.

Talk with God.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Of course, it’s important to talk with God. Unfortunately, this seems to be the last thing we want to do when we are emotionally upset. Maybe it’s because we feel a little bit guilty, and we know our case may not really hold water, if it is tried in the court of God’s justice. God can see right through our hearts, and that scares us probably. But if we want to overcome stress, we must learn to trust God. He is near. There is no reason to be agitated by anything. Let’s approach Him through prayer and bring our case before Him. Just doing so will result in peace in our hearts and minds that passes all understanding.

Talk with yourself.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Often when we are angry, our reasoning seems to be on hold. But if we want to experience real peace, we need to talk to ourselves. Maybe we should ask a simple question, “Is this thought really pleasing to God?” We should not be afraid to talk to ourselves, for often we are not practicing what we have already learned in the past. When stress comes, all that we have learned suddenly flies out of the window!

Conclusion

So who do you need to talk with today? Maybe you’re stressed out by something or someone. Talk, don’t fight or argue. Seek mutual understanding. Above all else, seek God. He will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus when we put our hope in Him. Shalom (peace)!

Watch the sermon series

Read Part 4