I routinely have the opportunity to speak at events where many of the attendees are over the age of fifty. Although, I’m not quite fifty yet, my age group does share something in common with several of those in attendance – the notorious mid-life crisis!
This life event tends to strike those in their 40s and 50s, with one of the major components and culprits of the crisis being stress. Thankfully, there are some steps we can take, and at just about any age, to reduce, avoid and/or recover from the symptoms stress can create and the dreams they deplete in order to pursue lives that are more healthy, wealthy and wise:
Healthy: When we are stressed, our bodies max out. For example, various studies reveal how stress can cause headaches, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, panic disorders, grinding of teeth, strokes, heart disease, hypertension, weight gain, decreased sex drive, insomnia, depression, and the list goes on and on. Reports reference some of the most common contributors to stress are trying to manage too many responsibilities, problems with finances and work problems. So, it stands to reason, one of the best ways we can improve our health is to reduce and manage our stress. But how? The answer is surprisingly simple – growing and giving. When we seek to multiply what we’ve been given and strive to give to the benefit of others, the results are nothing short of miraculous. For various studies have revealed giving is contagious, evokes gratitude, promotes connection with others, is healthy, and makes us happy psychologically, just to mention a few. In short, faithful stewardship and servant hearts aren’t only Biblical truths, but prove to be good for our health too (3 John 1:2).
Wealthy: We tend to think wealth relates only to money, but it can actually be defined as “a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing“. Therefore, all of us can seek to be wealthy in our family relations, our faith, practicing healthy lifestyles and establishing profitable habits for whatever amount of finances we may have. As a result, we will begin to break free from the defeating and stress-fueled lie that our self-worth is tied to our net-worth (Mark 8:36).
Wise: As we begin acquiring and applying truth, we begin strengthening our wisdom muscle. This increases our likelihood to finish well. For our priorities will be properly aligned. We can then guard against the stress trap of discontentment caused by comparing ourselves to others and begin maximizing what we’ve been given. This is done by growing the areas of our lives we desire improvement and giving to the welfare of others rather than solely for ourselves (Colossians 4:5).
Application: “A Living Of Giving” – 1 John 3:16
When we give from our supplies of time, talents, treasures and testimonies, we realize we don’t have to trudge through life in a vain attempt to fill our cups and then walk anxiously as we try to not spill a drop from the cups we’re carrying. For we realize God has a never ending supply for each of us as we pour out what we have to others for His glory. This is not to say we are to be wasteful, or that we will all be multi-millionaires, Olympic athletes and Einsteins. It does mean there are great benefits that come to those who seek to grow and give throughout their lives – such as less stress, greater contentment and a fuller sense of achievement as we realize giving makes our living much more fulfilling.