Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What Does Stress Reveal?

What does stress reveal about us? Often we show our true character when we are in the pressure cooker of life--hurried,  worried, and buried under stress--and it isn't always a flattering picture.

Character is not just something we put into our lives; it is what comes out of our lives (and often our mouths) in times of trial. It goes beyond a system of values and virtues that we learn from our parents, teachers or even at church.

All we do and say in life stems from our inner character. (A scary thought at times.) Character is not just having integrity or just being honest or just doing the right thing. Good Christian character springs from a growing relationship with Jesus in which we allow Him to work in our lives.

Character is often cultivated during stress-filled times--times of waiting, confusion, loss, or pain.  Intentionally setting aside the time to meditate, pray, and reflect during these challenges will help us determine the right choices and attitudes to take.

Aligning our lives with Jesus produces behaviors that are Christ-like.  When we are connected to the Vine, (Jesus), through prayer, Bible reading, and meditation, we produce the spiritual fruit mentioned in  Galatians 5:22-23:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

And that's good character no matter how stressful the situation.


©2013 Pamela D. Williams