Love life and see good days
Pastor Bob Hepokoski, Staples Alliance Church
The American Psychological Association recently released a study that details how Americans are doing emotionally and what is stressing us out. Here are some of the revealing results.
· One of the top stressors that keeps us up at night, affecting 63% of us, is concern for the future of our nation.
· Almost as many of us, 59% report that the current social divisiveness causes us stress when we think about our nation.
· And the gloomiest statistic is that 59% of us believe that we are living through the lowest point of our nation’s history (as far as we can remember). That feeling is true across all generations, including those who lived through WWII, the war in Vietnam and 9-11.
If you are stressed about our nation, particularly the divisiveness that seems more evident than ever, you are not alone.
What are we doing to manage our stress? According to the same poll, most Americans have helpful support networks but we could use more support. To deal with anxiety, 46% of us exercise, 14% smoke, 47% listen to music and 29% of us pray. Aside from smoking, I encourage any or all of those stress reducers. And I have one more recommendation.
For all who feel that we are living at the low moment of our national history and worry about when or if we can turn things around, the Bible tells us how we can respond to our circumstances in such a way that not only reduces stress, but actually leads to better days and increases our love of life.
1 Peter 3:10-11 says, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”
When you are stressed, do good to others... all others. And speak only words that are honest, good and in furtherance of peace. It will reduce your stress and it will ease the anxiety and tension of those around you. You will become part of the cure, rather than a victim of the circumstances.
God says this is the way to love life and see good days.