Stressed & Annoyed (ATP)
How do we deal with stress and annoyance at work?
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” First, if we’re dealing with stress and the temptation to be annoyed in the workplace, in the home, or in other places, we are to turn our attention to God. I have found that God can change a lot more hearts than I can.
With this, we must consider a couple different things. First, is this something we are a culprit in? Galatians 5:22-26, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Are we choosing to walk and act in accordance with the born again spirit living on the inside? Are we being kind, demonstrating love and joy, creating an atmosphere of peace as much as it’s up to us, and focusing on being patient or what the Word calls long-suffering? Too often, we as Christians, forget that we are the example to follow and we don’t live and act in such a way that demonstrates our understanding of this truth. Matthew 5:13 says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?….” If Christians don’t take the high road, no one will.
Secondly, we need to consider the source of the stress and annoyance. Is it hurting people looking to hurt people? Is it a matter of poor leadership in the workplace? Is it too much work, too little help? There are many things that cause us to feel overburdened, stressed and annoyed if we let them. But the answer to these concerns is prayer. Look to the Ephesians 1:16-19 prayers, “do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.” Pray for your boss, pray for your colleagues, pray for the business, that the hope of God and the understanding would be clear. That the eyes of your colleagues and your employers would be opened to the revelation of God. It’s amazing what we can accomplish through prayer that our complaint and our complacency won’t get us.
Now, if we have done everything we know to do and we have prayed and have been perfectly patient, loving and kind but the situation still doesn’t change, we need to ask is this a healthy environment for me? Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” But sometimes, it’s not possible. We have to turn our hearts to the Lord to seek His answer in this. Is it possible to have peace here? If it’s not possible, the Lord will help you find somewhere else to go. Remember when Elijah was led by the Lord to the Brook Cherith where the ravens came and fed him and sustained him? This was the avenue the Lord provided to sustain him. 1 Kings 17:6-7, “The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” After a while, the brook dried up. Sometimes, there’s a time for us to work somewhere and a time for us to move on. We need to decide this with the Lord’s guidance.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”