Discerning Your Micro-Stress

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger (Ephesians 4:26).

All of us have experienced major stress, but what about micr0-stress?

I can imagine your thoughts now, “What! I know I have stress and, on some days, major stress. Are you telling me I now have to worry about micro-stress? I have never heard of it before until this Interruption!”

Please take a deep breath and meditate, as I don’t want to add to your major or micro-stresses.  

Micro-stress is now being studied by those who study these things. In a recent article from Harvard Business Review, the author wrote . . . 

Stress comes to us all in tiny little assaults throughout our day — what we call “micro-stresses.” And it’s coming from sources you might never have considered. You probably don’t need us to tell you that stress makes you more susceptible to chronic illness and mental health conditions, such as depression. By some estimates, 60-80% of all doctor visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. The problem is that most of us have come to accept micro-stresses as just a normal part of a day. We hardly acknowledge them, but cumulatively they are wearing us down.

Micro-stresses are small assaults on our values, self-identity, relationships, and resources. I believe that when we are prayed up and filled with the Spirit, we easily squash our daily stresses with the ease of Superman leaping a tall building with one stride.

But we get tired, don’t pray, and the small stresses build up. Then we break down emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The key to victory is discernment.

Try this. 

In the morning, ask yourself, “What can take away my peace today?” At noon ask, “What has taken away my peace this morning?” And before you sleep, “What happened today that I’m still anxious about?”

I believe that peace is easily discerned in our Spirit. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and just as we sense disturbances in a conversation with loved ones, we can quickly sense conviction in a conversation with Jesus.  

We must develop this “testing peace” habit.  

If we haven’t eaten, we get “hangry.” We also get frustrated if we have an exercise habit and haven’t been to the gym. But we find joy if we start our day with prayer. Our spirits have been created within us for conviction – guilt for bad actions and peace for good actions.

Often, we have too much guilt and too little peace. Learning to discern the Spirit’s conviction allows guilt to be crucified and peace to be glorified.

The devil knows about micro-stresses. He only brings a major temptation after he has softened our resistance through a series of micro-stresses. Our adversary connives with patience in his plans, sometimes taking months or years before the final attack.

Paul writes, “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27).

The Apostle Peter adds, Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Don’t worry; don’t get major or micro-stressed about your daily life or your adversary. The victory over all stress has already happened.

Jesus is alive, and He will bring us safely through our frustrations and temptations.

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