Do you sometimes find yourself pulled in different directions? Several people tried to detour Jesus from his planned schedule. They tried to distract him from his goal in life. “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them” (Luke 4:42). Jesus was going to leave, but they tried to make him stay.
Jesus responded, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (v. 43). He refused to be distracted by less important matters.
Principle number four for stress management is this: Focus on one thing at a time. It is the principle of concentration. Jesus was a master at this. It seemed that everybody tried to interrupt him; everyone had a Plan B for him. But Jesus responded, “Sorry, I must keep on moving toward my goal.” He kept right on doing what he knew God had told him to do: preach about the kingdom of God. He was determined. He was persistent. He was focused.
When I have thirty things to do on my desk, I clear my desk and work on one thing. When I finish that, I pick up something else. You can’t catch two jackrabbits at once. You’ve got to focus on one.
When we diffuse our efforts, we are ineffective. When we concentrate our efforts, we are more effective. Light diffused produces a hazy glow, but light concentrated produces fire. Jesus Christ did not let interruptions prevent him from concentrating on his goal; he did not let others make him tense or stressed or irritated.
Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).
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How to Cope with Stress
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How Can I Defeat Depression?
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How Can I Handle Discouragement?
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