Reactions To Stress

How do you react to the stress in your life? Some may use humor to cope by joking about it. Others cry or talk about it. Still other signs of coping include: nervous gestures like nail biting, gum chewing, snacking; overeating; turning to God for help; dealing with it by being angry; some physically get away and retreat to a totally different environment; sleep too much; engage in rigorous physical exercise; take on extra work responsibilities; withdraw from others; or turn to substance abuse and various addictive behaviors.

There are negative ways and positive ways to react to stress. A perfect example is that of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10:38-42. In this passage we find Martha totally stressed out as she prepares to serve Jesus a meal in her home. Imagine what it would be like if the Lord was coming to your house for dinner. How would you feel? And to top things off, her sister, Mary, isn’t helping her prepare because she is sitting at Jesus’ feet. So Martha complains to Jesus about Mary because she isn’t helping her.

Jesus’ response hits her right between the eyes! Martha, check your priorities, put me first and everything else will fall into place. Jesus showed Martha that to cope with the stresses of life one needs to put Him first, spend time with Him and the other things will get done appropriately.

Question to think about: What are some healthy ways that you cope with stress?