How To Beat Stress & Anxiety - Part 1

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					Chronicles of a Ragamuffin
Ken du Pisanie

How to Beat Stress & Anxiety - I
Mark 6:31 (NLB) - “Then Jesus said, ‘Let's get away from the crowds for a while and rest.’ There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.” Do you ever feel like your life and schedule is out of control? In life, you can't eliminate stress, but you can manage it. Jesus experienced enormous stress and pressure, yet it didn't seem to disturb his peace of mind. In spite of opposition, constant demands - and little privacy - his life reflected a calm sense of balance. What was his secret? IDENTIFICATION: KNOW WHO YOU ARE John 5:30 (NKJ) - I can do nothing of My own self…I do not seek My own will, but the will of the Father who has sent Me. There was no doubt in his mind as to who he was. If you are unsure of your identity, you'll allow others to pressure you into their molds. TRYING TO BE SOMEONE YOU'RE NOT CAUSES STRESS! One of the greatest causes of stress today is a little thing we regard as so important in society. It’s called “image.” Dr James Dobson, a Christian psychologist, wrote that 80% of all teenagers don’t like the way they look. Do you know why they don’t like the way they look? Because society has prescribed an “image” look. If you fit the image, you’re in and accepted. If you don’t have the “image” look, you get rejected. Even people who are regarded as beautiful often lack confidence.

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Michelle Pfeiffer: “I’ve got small boobs, big lips and a bent nose. My face is completely wrecked. I have never been confident about my looks.” Madonna: “All of my will has always been to conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy. I’m always struggling with that fear…even though I’ve become Somebody, I still have to prove that I’m Somebody. My struggle has never ended and probably never will.” Image is making yourself something that you are not really. Image is not dictated by who you are - image is determined by society. So you take on a certain image in the way you dress, the way you speak and the way you act so that you will be liked and accepted. But the truth is that 95% of the time you’re dressing, speaking and acting in a way that isn’t the real you. And you’d better believe that after a while it becomes very stressful. Especially when society decides that it’s time for a change of image, and suddenly you have to spend a whole lot of money, time and effort to change your wardrobe, the way you speak and the way you act. Image is a means of setting out to find happiness through our own means, independent of God. The need to get things we don’t have, or to become something we aren’t, is as old as the world itself. It began in the Garden of Eden. The problem of knowing our true identity, or our real image, started when God first created man. Remember that when God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image. Genesis 1:26 (NKJ) – Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness: and let them have dominion. This was the absolute and ultimate image. Man lacked nothing. He lived in perfect harmony with God and His environment. Nothing could have improved the quality of his life. This tells us that true completeness in life comes from the sense of who you are, not from what you possess or what you achieve. At the heart of the temptation to become something that you are not is the implication, “I am not who God says I am. Therefore, I do not have what God says I have.” The crazy thing about this is that in God we are already all we can be, and have everything we need!

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The person who believes he or she is a new creation in Jesus never pursues the destructive process of becoming. Instead, these believers know that they are, they have and they can in Christ Jesus. But we fall for the same lie that Adam and Eve fell for in the Garden. Satan came and fed them the lie. Genesis 3:5 (NIV) – For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God. Can you see the absurdity of this lie? They were already like God! And they already ruled over the earth! But suddenly, they thought that there was more for them. That God wasn’t enough. That they could become something better than they already were! We think we have a need. But that’s not true! Colossians 2:10 (NKJ) – You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. We think that we can meet this “need” by changing our image. But that’s not true! Psalm 23:1 (LB) – Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need! I want you to see that what the world wants to convince you that you are an incomplete person. They are telling you that you need to add to your image in order to become a someone or a something. But what they have forgotten is that you have been made in the image of God! And through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus you have been made a complete person. The world has nothing that it can offer you to make you more complete than what you already are! Philippians 4:13 (MSG) - Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

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