Building Margin to Reduce Stress – Week 2, Day 4

Psalm 16:5-6 – The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.                         

 Psalm 55:22 – Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.                  

1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

Do you ever have trouble figuring out what is your responsibility? Another way to say this: do you often think that it’s your job to “fix” everything and everybody?

I can still hear the counselor’s comment now: “Trish, you’re not that important!” Now, that doesn’t sound very nice, does it? But she was oh so correct. Sometimes my sense of responsibility got warped. Still does.

Sometimes it’s too easy to think we are responsible for everyone and everything. We are not. God did not intend for us to carry this burden.   He said for us to cast our burdens on Him. We are called to pray for and care for others, but it’s not our job to fix everyone.

Boundaries (those limits that help us see our responsibilities) help create margin for our lives. They help to reduce stress and give us a healthy perspective as we care for others.

When we listen and obey God’s instructions for life, our stress levels go down. Margin for listening to God helps us live more stress-free.

Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Amen

                                      – Serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

Reflection Question and/or Application for the Day:

What are the concerns or worries that are most often on your mind?

What’s my part in these concerns or worries? Am I contributing negatively or positively to these concerns?

Can I change anything about the concern or worry? If so, what change can you make today?

 

____________________________

Devotion from Building Margin for a Balanced Life, devotional book, small group study and sermon series

©Tim Reaves and Trish Archer

All rights reserved

Photo by Will Archer

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