Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Wanting to Reduce Stress Can Be a Bad Thing

This is part two of the five-part series: Don’t Deny the Gospel.

Are you looking for relief from the stress of busyness?

Busyness can absolutely fry our minds, wear out our bodies, and damage our relationships. The allure of time management is that, through living a balanced life, we can find peace and serenity.

But that allure is a lie.

The answer to stress isn’t getting organized or setting goals or being efficient.
The answer is a person.

In Matthew 11, Jesus said:

Matthew 11:28-30
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

If you are hoping that time management (even “Christian time management”) is going to eliminate your stress and give you a sense of inner calm – then you are hoping in idols.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden.”
Come to Him to find peace and rest. Not systems. Not day planners. Not an empty inbox.

In his final days on Earth, Jesus prepared his disciples with these words:

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

The disciples went on to persecution, beatings, imprisonment, and death sentences due to their beliefs. Yet they did so with the peace that Jesus gave to them.

Then why do we look to time management methods to give us peace from a busy schedule?

So many productivity gurus promise you this sense of calm. They say that stress relief comes from a clear inventory of your obligations. Or that it comes from looking at your priorities and giving yourself permission to say “no” to some things. Many suggest that serenity is found in a simple and uncluttered life. Even a lot of Christians will lead you to “a balanced life” as a means to peace.

Guess what? All of those things are good things to do! That’s why you’ll see post after post about these ideas on Life of a Steward.

If we do these things under Christ’s direction, they can be wonderfully empowering tools. But it is crucial that we understand and utilize these concepts in light of the gospel and not contrary to it.
We must remember where, or rather who, our source of peace really is: Christ. And we have to recognize, and deal with, any desire within us to find peace elsewhere.

Where are you seeking a sense of calm?

Note: The inspiration for this post came from an excellent podcast from Matt Perman and Tim Challies. Have a listen!

Part 1: (Introduction) Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Learning Time Management Can Be a Bad Thing

Part 2: Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Wanting to Reduce Stress Can Be a Bad Thing

Part 3: Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Wanting to Accomplish More Can Be a Bad Thing

Part 4: Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Wanting to Serve God Can Be a Bad Thing

Part 5: Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Good Things Can Happen

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