Inappropriate Ways of Dealing With Stress

May 22, 2015


In my previous posts, I have addressed the issue of “Death By Inches” and some of the most common—and the most devastating—causes of death by inches. When we are under stress, we find some way to cope with our problems. Often, we aren’t even aware that we are slipping into a role in an attempt to block the pain in our lives. When we die on the inside and have no real purpose in life then we become frustrated and disappointment builds over time, the stress comes out in several ways:

  • a volcano, simmering quietly until pressure builds and it explodes
  • a zombie, emotionless and apathetic, giving up on love and meaning
  • a wallflower, afraid of being hurt again, unwilling to take risks
  • a critic, finding fault in anything and everything
  • a Pollyanna, always pleasant, always shallow
  • a clown, covering the emptiness and pain with a few laughs
  • a fixer, unable to solve his own problems, so he focuses on others’ problems
  • a marionette, dancing any time someone pulls its string

All of the above are insufficient ways to deal with stress.

For some of us, our sense of purpose needs to be refreshed. For others, it needs to be radically changed. Maybe we adopted someone else’s goals instead of getting ours from the Lord. Maybe our goals are tainted too much with pride and the desire for power and prestige. Maybe we need to hear from God and let Him speak clearly to our hearts. In any case, God wants you and me to live with a clear, strong, dynamic sense of purpose so that we can’t wait to see what he has for us each day. Life is way to short to drift through it with no clear purpose for living.

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