“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
Years ago, in a popular TV commercial for the pain reliever Anacin, a mother was shown getting on her daughter’s nerves. The stressed out young woman shouted, “Mother, please, I’d rather do it myself!” Of course, after she popped the pill, mother and daughter were shown happily enjoying one another’s company.
God has a prescription for stress. It’s available to us 24 hours a day, every day. We can effectively manage stress if we’ll just remember to take God’s prescription. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
The key word is “let.” You must permit it — allow it to happen. God’s word is active and alive (Hebrews 4:12), and it will change, strengthen, and help you.
Once we open the door to allow God’s word into our lives, we must dwell in it richly. Dwell means to take up residence. Once you’ve found scripture that addresses your concern — settle there. It’s like coming home after a stressful day at work, propping up your feet, and treating yourself to your favorite comfort food.
His word and His work are not intended to be kept solely for personal edification. They are to be shared “as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.” The truth you’ve learned and your testimony to the reality of God’s goodness will be a blessing to others.
Think of God’s plan as divinely inspired group therapy. We share and encourage with the wisdom that comes down from above.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Stress is relieved because the emphasis is taken off self by reaching out to God and investing in the lives of others.
Recently, my wife asked why it feels so good to help others, especially those who can’t return the favor. I believe it’s because of the presence of God’s Spirit within us. Grace is what God does. And when He gives through us, it warms our hearts.
Instead of holding in frustration and dwelling on the negative input of this world, rest in the wonderful promises of God from His word. And then listen to others of like mind in the faith.
Paul emphasizes that burdens are best shared with one another, meaning our fellow Christians — NOT unbelievers. Jesus put it this way:
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6
Are you letting the word of Christ “dwell” in you? Just reading and listening to the word has no real effect until you let it take up residence and allow it to guide your thoughts and actions. Whenever troubles or difficult people rain on your parade, just open the door to the word of God. Don’t give permission for negative garbage to inhabit your mind. Instead allow the word of God to guide your response. You’ll be a blessing — and get a blessing. And that stressed out heart will be replaced with a heart of gratitude to God.
If your stress is the result of sorry, check out this article: How to Manage Sorrow
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.