Monday, October 25, 2010

Energize me, Scotty

Welcome, it's great to see you in A Good Bible Study: StressLess! We are going to start getting energized this week so let's pray and get started.

Lord, Heavenly Father, the Maker of Heaven and Earth - how meager and small our lives were before we found you! Thank you for offering us peace instead of anger, joy instead of sorrow, and comfort in the midst of grief. Help us to remain open to You even when we are angry and don't understand other people's reactions to us. Help us to be full of You, instead of our own emotions, Lord. Thank you for opportunities to get into Your Word, so we aren't blown about by every mood and every attitude. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Does our prayer give you an idea what we will be discovering in the Word today?

Yesterday we talked about our need to rest, and recuperate, our bodies through sleep and relaxation. I don't know about you, but I know I am not at my best when I am not rested. I don't cope as well with frustration. I don't respond as quickly or easily to situations, or even complete tasks with all the skill and ease that I normally would.

In short, I'm not myself, and can't give my best when I'm overtired. So, obviously rest on a regular basis is one of those "musts" in order to live a less stressful life.

Rest is one way we fill our resources. We've also got to deal with people and situations that empty our resources.

Number one for most of us: energy-draining people. You know who they are - stay away from them. Weed them out of your life, if at all possible.

There are some people that you have to walk on eggshells around. Others just complain your ear off! Some don't have a good thing to say about anyone (and if you think you are the only one they don't talk about, think again.) And others just take pleasure in being mean at your expense (I'm just kidding, can't you take a joke?) - know what I mean?

Mark Victor Hansen (co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series) says, "Your income, the results you create, are dictated by the five people you spend the most time with."

Who are your five?

We can handle about two negative people in our life. If you've got more than that and you just can't limit your time with them, it's more important for you than ever to fill yourself up every day (even all day) with positive people, reading positive material, listening to positive speakers and up-lifting music, and watching funny or inspiring television programming.

Zig Ziglar, one of the most influential speakers of all time, says, "People say motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily."

I say that people who don't want to go anywhere, and don't want to do anything, don't want you to go anywhere or do anything with your life, either! It makes them look bad and misery really does love company.

What does God say?

Read Proverbs 12:26
Read Proverbs 13:20
Read Proverbs 14:6-8
Read Proverbs 17:20
Read Proverbs 22:24-25
and finally,
Read 1 Corinthians 15:33

I've found that the best thing I can do for my kids, is to put them in the company of other kids who are being raised with good values, and who are expected to live them out. A group of negative kids are not going to rise up to the one kid trying to do things right. The majority of their influence is going to drag my kids down, not the other way around. As a parent I know this from experience.

I know I can't be the one positive force in a whole bunch of negative, gossiping, lazy, don't want to help themselves or anyone else-friends. It's just going to drag me down to their comfort level.

In the same way, I can't be watching Cheaters, then CSI, followed by the news every night and expect to feel positive and hopeful about my day. Now I am not saying you shouldn't watch your favorite show. But, let's be real.

Let's get intentional about what we are filling up our minds with. What we think about affects the way we feel, it's simply biochemical science. Our thoughts influence our chemical and hormonal response which then affects our moods.

Just try this: Ask yourself who you spend the most time with? Which shows you watch the most? Which music you listen to most of the time? Which activities do you do and are they improving your mood and health, or making it worse?

Now, how's your mood most of the time? How likely are you to try a new activity or be excited about a new project? Are you taking action on the things that you say are important to you? Are you feeling stress-free and positive most of the time?

This is just for you - I don't know your answers and neither does anyone else. This is all about you taking stock of your own life, and your own choices, and seeing if there is any room for change. We either want things to change or we want them to stay the same.

But, we can't keep doing the same things, hanging around the same people, listening to the same negative music and depressing shows, and thinking things are going to be any different.

Make one change this week. Just one. Tell me if you don't feel just a little bit better, now - go on, you can do it!

Lord, we need some help because even thinking about change is scary for a lot of us. Thinking about change is far worse than actually changing. Help us to just be honest. Help us to see any areas we can feel more stress-less, simply by getting out some negative, and putting in more positive. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! In the name of Jesus, amen.

Love, Karen

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