Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Changing Your Stress Part 3

Here is Part 1 and Part 2.

A 3rd aspect in changing your stress level is, "Surrender control of the outcome, then stress can not take it away."

I like to be in control.  When I feel things are beyond my control I get stressed out.  I grind my teeth, flip my hat, and think really fast.

But much of life is beyond my control.  Let me repeat that for you, much of life is beyond your control.  We do not like the thought of that.  Let's list some things that are beyond our control:

-Other people
-The economy
-The Weather
-Car accidents
-Where I was born
-My disabilities
-The government
-Our family

Now this does not mean there is nothing we should do in any of these situation.  Disease for example.  I can eat well, exercise, get sleep, and watch my stress levels.  So that seems like control.  But even doing all those things well I can still get sick.

So, I must do my best, then surrender the control of the outcome.  If I surrender the control of the outcome, that takes stress away.  Wanting to control the outcome is mainly what causes stress in my life.  We love our families, we serve them well, we care for them, listen to them, help them, but we cannot control if they make bad decisions, or at least decisions we see as bad.  We must surrender control of the outcome.

Maybe you do not like the phrase, "Surrender control of the outcome."  Well let me replace that with a phrase you may like, "Trust."  I trust things will work out well.  It may take a lot of time, but I trust this will work out for good.

Joseph, you know the guy with the technicolor dreamcoat, he did things well.  He was bright.  He was his dad's favorite.  But he had no control over the outcome of his life.  He could not control his brother's hatred of him(although he could have handle his relationship with them better).  He couldn't control being sold into slavery(who can).  He couldn't control working for Potiphar and Potiphar's wife.  He couldn't control Potiphar's wife accusing him of rape(no one can control a Potiphar wife).  He could not control being thrown into prison.  He also could not control his release from prison and being raised to a level of power.  He had to put his faith in God, do his best, and learn to surrender control.  

Joseph said that his brother's meant everything that he went through for evil, but that God meant it for good. You see, you surrender control to God.  We trust that God is wise, powerful, and a good Father, and that he will work things for good.

You cannot control the outcome of things anyway.  You will just get stressed out trying.  So why not change your plan of attack from controlling, to faith in God, doing your best, and surrendering control of the outcome to God.  And don't confuse that with not doing anything.  Faith in God, doing your best, and surrendering control are actions plans, life plans.

So what do you think?  Are you a controller of outcomes?  Are you stressed out over the outcomes?  How can you trust God, do your best, and surrender control?

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