Everyone wants less stress and more patience. The world says you can get this by earning money with your passions, vacations, material comforts, and the latest “spiritual” sounding solution that cures everything: meditation.
Some of these things might help, in fact, they probably do help many, which is why people do them. But do these things really take care of stress and bring patience, or do they just reward selfishness?
The Bible says believers should not worry and be patient. Most Christians think this patient non-stress comes by repeating a verse. I know many people who repeat a verse to themselves during stressful times as though that will bring the peace that passes understanding.
Again, it might help temporarily, but is that really all there is? I hear lots of talk about “remembering the promises” and so forth, which again is fine, but is our bedrock of peace just from remembering and repeating stuff?
Surely there is more to it!
Indeed there is. The problem is that no one wants to do what the Bible actually says to do in order to eliminate stress from your life and develop patience.
The Bible’s answer is basically summed up like this:
If you want less stress and more patience start by getting rid of all your stuff. Follow that up by loving Christ more than any other human being. Top it off by pursuing righteousness and eternal values.
There is no other way to get lasting peace. All the stuff you own is what is making you stressed and impatient. If I didn’t have money invested in the stock market, I wouldn’t be stressed about interest rates and market measures. If I didn’t own a business I wouldn’t be concerned about the latest laws and taxes foisted upon businesses. If my entire concern in life was the opinion of Jesus Christ and living to please Him instead of trying to please people and keep up with em, I imagine my patience level would go up.
Next time you are impatient or stressed, nail it down to what exactly it is that is causing the stress. More than likely it’s a person or thing, and more than likely, if it’s a person, the person annoys you because they are messing with your things!
The virtues of Jesus Christ are not pick and choose. They are a package deal. There are not multiple fruits of the Spirit; there is one fruit of the Spirit. You start to see them in your life when your life looks like following the Spirit rather than living for things of the world.
If you want the fruit of the Spirit in all its fullness, then stop living for stuff.
“You haven’t sold all you have, so shut up, man.” I hear ya. I’m not telling you to follow me. I’m telling you what Christ said. Matthew 6:24-34. Read it. I didn’t say it; Your Savior did!
We will each have different levels of stress and different things that kick that stress off. In all honesty, owning a business has been massively less stressful for me than being a pastor! Like, not even close.
My measure on these things is not yours. We will all stand before the Lord. When things become overbearing for me, I typically try to eliminate those issues somehow, knowing they have too large of a grip on me.
Make the cuts. Put away childish things. Be a man. Put off what trips you up. Lay aside every weight, not just sin, anything that slows you down.
When you make these cuts and replace them with seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, I guarantee you stress will melt away and patience will replace it, right along with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. They go together and there’s only one way to get em.