Behind my right shoulder at this moment is a three-volume encyclopedia of stress. Each volume has nearly 800 pages and together they contain a vast depository of modern wisdom and research.
Six books along on the same shelf is a leather-bound Bible containing ancient wisdom covering events of two to four thousand years ago.
I wonder if you realize how contemporary the ancient writings are when it comes to modern day stress? Check out the previous three editions and you will find I have been writing about a sense of worth, your catalogue of needs and your beliefs. I have been arguing that when you feel threatened in any of these three arenas you can become defensive and angry and these reactions can become stress.
Life, of course, does not behave in neat lists or three separate arenas. It is always messy and complicated. When you feel threatened, chances are it will be a mixture of worth, needs, and belief’s that get challenged. Life is like a three-ring circus or a Venn diagram where issues overlap, intermingle and happen simultaneously.
Let me show you how ancient wisdom from one Bible verse impacts all three arenas. Further, let me use loss as an example. The loss of a loved one or the thought of the loss of your own life is recognized as a massive stressor.
In a work context the loss of your job or income is likewise a huge issue and these losses represent threats to you in multiple arenas. I don’t need to spell that last part out for you.
Here are the Bible words which speak into each and every arena. First, God loves you. That is your ultimate source of worth. The existence of God means you are created by Him. Jesus of Nazareth says, “God so loved the world”. You are created, you are loved. This love translates into action. God has given his only Son for you. Created, loved, “gifted”, these are truths about your worth.
If you believe in this gift of God’s Son, you will not lose your life but receive eternal life. Eternal life is not just about length of life but quality of life now. Eternal life is everything you need.
Can you see it? Beliefs boil down to believing in the Son of God. Needs distill into eternal life.
This famous verse speaks into today’s stress pandemic. Think of the loss of a loved one, your life or your job. The ancient words tell you that God loves you in your experience or thoughts of loss. Your value is infinite and immense.
This loving God calls you to believe, not in a thousand rules or a long list, but a person who gives himself to you and for you.
The resulting eternal life is all you need to live, to survive and to pass through death.
Worth, beliefs, needs are all covered in these words. It will take you a lifetime to engage with them for they are certainly connected to other words, but in them there is a manifesto for stress, anger and life management.
Work well today,
© Geoff Shattock July 2019
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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