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Summary: This is a message on what stress is, the causes of it, how it affects us, and how we should handle it.

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How to Dress for STRESS

Psalm 4:1-8

What is one thing that we all have in common that begins with the letter “S”. Now sense we are in church, most of us would probably think that I’m talking about sin. Now that is a common denominator, but not the topic of choice today.

Today I want to talk to you about something that we all go through at times in our life. Stress.

What causes stress?

a. You have the stress of school or work.

It’s been a while but I can remember the stress of school. Will I be accepted and other kids like me? Am I wearing the right kind of cloths? And as you progress in school then you have the stress of the homework and other achievements that we are pressed to obtain. And being in school is simply a training for the stress that you have in life; because it only gets worse.

Going to school is really just basic training for going to work. That is why you go to school so that you can learn and the better prepare yourself for life. But when you go to work the stress really begins. Now some work is more stressful than others. But even when I worked as a security guard for the hospital, I had the stress of not going to sleep and losing my job for doing so.

But you have deadlines. You have bosses. You have lots of stress that comes with work. That is why we say, “Thank GOD it is Friday”. But it is not just school or work that cause us stress. You also have…

b. You have the stress of family and friends.

Family can cause you stress. Weather it is an elderly parent, a wayward child, or a demanding spouse. Kids can make you pull your hair out, which is if you have hair. My Mom just smiles when my kids misbehave and says, “Turnaround is fair play”.

Then you have the stress of your marriage.

I heard about a woman who took her husband to the doctor’s office. After his checkup, the doctor said, "Your husband is suffering from a very serious infection."

The husband, who was hard of hearing said, "What did he say?" His wife said, "He says your sick".

The doctor went on. "But there is hope. You just need to reduce his stress.

Each morning, give him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant, nice, and kind.

For lunch and dinner make him his favorite meal. Don’t discuss your problems with him; it will only make his stress worse. Don’t yell at him or argue with him.

And most importantly...just cater to your husband’s every whim.

If you can do this for your husband for the next 6 months to a year, I think your husband will have a complete recovery."

The husband said, "What did he say?" His wife said, "He says, you’re going to die".

c. You have the stress of complete strangers.

Sometimes people who we don’t even know stress us out. The other day I was sitting at a red light behind a car and then the light turned green. Being the kind citizen that I am, I tapped on the horn to let him know that he was able to proceed. Then we got to the next light just one block down and it turned yellow, probably due to his delay at the previous light. Then the light turned green and once again his foot must have been glued to the brake because He just sit there. I thought is this guy color blind or what. He stressed me out.

But whether it is on the road or the shopping mall. People stress you out. Have you ever been sitting trying to enjoy a game and you have a know it all, who looks like they have never played a sport in their life; criticize the referees, the coaches, and even the players. You want to enjoy the game and you have to sit and listen to Howard Kosel over there and it stresses you out.

d. The church can cause stress.

Despite the rumors you may hear, the #1 reason for pastors leaving the ministry is stress. It is not because they ran off with the piano player. And being a pastor is a very stressful job. You are on call 24/7. You are pulled in several directions and have to be very multitasking.

But it is not just the pastors who have stress. Being a deacon is a stressful job. Dealing with youth, especially the preschoolers, whom we have been blessed to have, can cause stress. Dealing with the money, keeping the property up, many things in the church can cause you stress.

Even coming to church can cause you stress. How many of you have ever yelled at someone to “hurry up!” We have to get to church to worship God. I would rather you come in late then to come in all stressed and trying to worship God. Church can cause stress.

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