Creflo Dollar - How to Overcome Stress
Let me give you five causes of stress. Five causes of stress, so you can deal with it. Really, nobody can deal with stress like the born-again Christian. Everybody else falls victim to it and don't have any clue how to handle it.
Number one, here's one cause of stress. Let's correct this, and you'll defeat some stress in your life: uncertainty. Uncertainty. You're not certain about what's gonna happen. You're not certain that, you know, "this" is gonna happen. "Am I gonna have a job"? Uncertainty. Uncertainty causes stress. So how do you deal with uncertainty? Well, you take control of the seeds that you sow, and you can be certain of the harvest that you'll get.
Now, immediately, some of you think I'm talkin' about money. No, I'm talkin' about the Word of God. The Bible calls the Word of God, "seed". You see, the Word gives absolute certainty about how things are going to turn out in our lives, and so if you take the Word of God and what the Word of God has to say about it, the Word of God, ladies and gentlemen, is certain. It is certain that what God said in his Word will come to pass. It is certain that everything that God prophesies is gonna happen is gonna come to pass. It already has.
So if you wanna get rid of the uncertainty in your life that causes stress, then learn how to respond according to the Word of God and see what the Word has to say about it, and you clear up your uncertainty, and you begin to sow the Word in your life. Having certainty will now deliver you from the stress by sowing God's Word, which is absolutely certain, sowing God's Word into your life, and it gets rid of the uncertainty, and the certainty that comes from God's Word removes stress in your life. If you understand that, say, "amen".
Number two, the second cause of depression and how to deal with unresolved conflict. Unresolved conflict. Those of you who are married, you understand this, when you have arguments in your marriage, and everybody get quiet and nobody resolves the conflict, and you go around the house for two days, three days, ain't nobody said nothin' to each other, and y'all actin' like y'all don't see each other. You don't talk unless you have to: "You pickin' the baby up today"? What happens?
There's so much stress that comes from that. As soon as you resolve the conflict, it's just unreal the amount of stress you were under, that you didn't even recognize until you resolve the conflict. Unresolved conflicts causes stress, so my advice is to resolve it fast. The Bible says, "Be at peace with all men as much as it has to do with you," and in Ephesians chapter 4:26, here's the key thing. Most people are aware of this. Ephesians chapter 4:26, he talks about "Don't let the sun go down upon your anger, upon your wrath".
I wonder how many of you walked in here this mornin' with unresolved conflict, tryin' to use church this mornin' to cover up an unresolved issue? After church, the issue still gon' need to be resolved. Hopefully, the Spirit of God'll help you and soften you so you can go ahead and resolve it. The Bible says, "Be ye angry". What does that mean? He's sayin' that's a human part. As a human, you may find yourself getting angry at times, but he says, "Now, here's how you deal with that: Sin not. Don't let your anger cause you to walk into sin". And he says, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath".
That's talkin' about unresolved conflicts. And so resolve it fast. What are some unresolved conflicts? Little bitty stuff too, little baby stuff, little stuff like, "You didn't text me back, and I got a issue because I always text you back". Man, ain't nobody got time for that little pamper stuff. I mean, people dyin' and goin' to hell, and you, "I'm mad at you". Well, resolve the issue. Jesus spoke about that. Jesus said, "You find out somebody got a issue with you, you go to them". What was he sayin'? "Resolve the issue," because they're in stress. They'll keep runnin' into that net, and that will cause stress. Imagine being stressed out over a text. Unresolved issues cause stress. Resolve it fast.
Number three, this is a big one: unrealistic comparison. Unrealistic comparison. Go to 2 Corinthians chapter 10, in verse 12. Unrealistic comparison. Please listen to me very, very carefully on this one. Don't compare yourself to other people. Stop comparing yourself with other people. It's just not fair. Saul, King Saul, began to have problems when he started comparing himself to David, and that resulted in two things. It resulted in stress, and it resulted in anger. His comparison with David even moved him. He was demonically influenced. He even tried to kill him. You don't need to compare yourself with one another.
If there's one sure way of limiting what God can do for your life, is when you start comparing yourself with somebody else. You limit God. God's tryin' to do something awesome with your life, and you're so busy comparing. There's something unique about you. Think about it: your fingerprint is unique. There's nobody on the planet that has the same finger print as you, which shows us how powerful our God is. You know how many people? And God gave everybody a unique fingerprint because he's given everybody a unique call, a unique anointing, a unique assignment, but you can hardly discover what he's given you because you're too busy comparing you with somebody else.
You know how ridiculous it would be to try to compare your fingerprint with my fingerprint or somebody else when you already know it's unique? And, yet I'm telling you that the call of God on your life of who you are, you're very unique, and you're still tryin' to compare yourself with somebody else. Look at what he says in 2 Corinthians chapter 10 in 12. He says, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves, but they measuring themselves".
How are they measuring themselves? By themselves. You're measuring yourself by yourself, so, you know, God wants you to do this big thing, and you're so busy, saying, "Well, let's see what he's doing. Well, he's doing that. At least I'm doing that". And you're limiting what God wants to do because you've limited it, based on what you're comparing yourself with. You're comparing yourself among themselves, and "comparing themselves among themselves," he says "it's not a wise thing to do". It's not a wise thing to do.
You're a woman comparing yourself with a billboard. Girl got a two-inch waist. That is, what do you call it when you manipulate photographs? That's Photoshop. "Well, why my skin ain't that smooth"? Hers ain't either. That's Photoshop. Turn to your neighbor and say, "It's time to be okay with you". The Bible says you're gonna be without understanding when you compare yourself with others, and I'm not just talkin' about physical comparison. I'm talkin' about even the assignment that God gives us, the things that we've been called to do.
Once you compare yourself with somebody else, you have limited what God told me, other day, I wrote it down, "a touch of distinction" that the Holy Spirit wants to show in your life. To everybody in here, you may be doin' somethin' that's similar, but with every life there's a touch of distinction. There's something about how you do it that's not like how somebody else doin' it, and y'all can be doin' the same thing. But you rob yourself of the touch of distinction when you start comparing yourself in this horizontal with somebody else. You know, you're a pastor and you're comparing yourself with another pastor (stop doin' that) and then you become a cheap imitation of a authentic, valuable piece.
Nobody wants a cheap imitation of somethin'. Nobody wants that. I am okay with me. I'm okay being a teacher in the body of Christ. I can hope, but that ain't what God want me to do, okay? I have to do what he called me to do. Get in the Word. Break it down line by line. Tell you how to do it. Make it practical. Break it down some more. Be repetitive with it over and over and over again. Teach these long series. Sometimes say the same thing fifty, a hundred, a million and eleven times, until it get in your head. That's what he called me to do. There's a touch of a distinction on what he called me to do. Now, there are other teachers, but they may have another touch of distinction that I don't have. Be okay with who you are 'cause it's stressful tryin' to be somebody else.
Number four, the fourth cause of distress or stress: unconfessed sin. Now, listen to me carefully. I need you to understand what I'm sayin'. I want you to go to James 5:16, and then Psalms 32, in 3. Value your relationship with God. This is somethin' I don't know if I've ever heard or read, but I wanna say this. Value your relationship with God. Your relationship with God exists because you can't trust every person that's got a body, but you can trust him. I'm not gonna tell you that you need to find somebody to confess your sins, but I am saying that there are some things you need to take to God, and I'm saying that you and God need to sit down and have a conversation, and I'm saying there's some stuff you have been carrying that's stressin' you out, and you need to... how that song you sing in the Baptist church?
♪Have a little talk with Jesus and...♪ Look at these Baptist people we got here, boy. Listen, first and foremost, value the relationship you have with God. Confess to God. Now, there may be some people in your life in your holies and holies, that you can talk to because you need some feedback or some advice, absolutely, but at least get it off you. Go to God. Say, "God, let's talk about somethin'". Go to God. I remember goin' to God and sayin', "God, I need to talk to you about this ministry. I am afraid. I am afraid. This is too big and too much, and I am scared". And wisdom showed up. He says, "I give you wisdom in the hidden parts, if you'll approach me with honesty and truth, and integrity," amen?
So here's what he said in James 5:16, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed". Now, here is somethin' that's in the context of the gospel of grace. Confess yourself to somebody who understands the gospel of grace, why? Here's how they're gonna respond. They're gonna remind you of who you are and what you have. Certain things, you can't talk to everybody about because they're not gonna remind you of who you are and what you have. They are now gonna condemn you, tell you you're not enough, say, "I won't have nothin' to do with you no more". You've got to be smarter than that.
There are things in your life that may be extremely shameful to you, so "Know those that labor amongst you". Know who's in your holies of holies and not in your holies of holies, and if you hadn't resolved in your heart that you don't have somebody that you can trust, please, you always have Jesus. Are y'all listenin' to me? Get it off of you because unconfessed, let me say it like this: When you bury it, it will bury you, and there's things that are buried, and that's responsible for stressin' you out, and it's workin' on burying you.
What are you carrying in your life that you buried? You never even come to realize it yourself. You've never even come to admit it to yourself. You'd be surprised how stress leaves a way when you can go to God and say, "Now, God, I'm gon' tell you this". Something supernatural happens right there, and then, if God wants you to get advice, he'll tell you who to go and share that with. You've got to trust the Holy Spirit. We gotta become Holy Spirit-led and Holy Spirit-directed so you'll quit doin' things based on religion that causes the problem to be even worse than what it is.
There's some things that people have said to me, I take to my grave. I'll take it to my grave, why? It don't do me no good to, I mean, what're you tryin' to do? They're saying it to be relieved and to not be stressed out about somethin'. Now they'll no longer be buried by that thing. So what's up with you when you're doin' anything but remindin' them of who they are and what they have? Who they are. That's what Paul did every time. They were committing incest in the church, and Paul said, "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we glorify God in our bodies"? He was reminding them who they are and what they had.
And when people in church started suing one another, he says, "You guys are suing one another"? He didn't beat 'em up and say, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself". No, no, no, no. Here's what he said. He said, "Do you not know that you shall judge the angels"? And you know what he said? He says, "You, who can judge the angels certainly ought not to go to the world to pass judgment on you. You can handle that". Are y'all seein' what I'm sayin'? That which you bury, if you don't figure out when you confess somethin', you say, "I admit it". Go to God.
That's what he's there for. That's why you have a personal relationship with him. Go to him. Get it off your shoulders. Don't bury it 'cause, if you bury it and it continues to stress you out, that, which you bury, will eventually bury you, amen. I like it when we get that kind of silence in the church. You know what that means? Somebody listenin', amen? I think I told you to turn to another Scripture. I think it was Psalms 32, in 3. Psalms 32, in 3. He says, "When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long". Don't do it. "Heavenly Father", check it out.
I'm tryin' to share somethin' I can share publicly. When I first got born again, my friend came over to minister to me, to show me how to get born again, and he gave me a piece of paper, and I had no idea what he was after. And I'm like, "Well, why are you givin' me this piece of paper"? He says, "I want you to write all of your sins down, one by one". And I thought, "I'm not writing all my sins down, one by one, for you to see. There's certain things I don't want you to know". And he was insistin'. And I was like, "No," and he finally got it. He was like, it wasn't important for him to see. He says, "Just write it down, and then tear it up". I said, "Oh, I can do that. I'll write it down, and I'll tear it up".
What was the point? The fact that I could go before God and reveal all of those things to him because he would take it and throw it as far as the east is from the west, and it would land in the sea of forgetfulness, and he will remember it no more. And all those crazy, ridiculous things that I did when I was young, I didn't know Jesus, but they were bad, are gone. Jesus has taken care of it all, and that which was unburied allowed me to be unburied and brought the freedom. So isn't it amazing that you could confess to him first and then forget all about it? You still can confess to him, and he's there for you. He's "a very present help in the time of trouble". Use your relationship with him. He's not this person that doesn't exist. He's a real person. He's your invisible partner. He's a counselor that has awesome advice, and he'll walk you through any situation in your life. Come on, and give Jesus a big hand now, hallelujah.
Number five, unusual pressure in the area of finances causes stress. Unusual pressure in the area of finances causes stress. So how do I deal with unusual pressure in the area of finances? Watch this. This is big. First of all, you think it's gonna be real spiritual. Watch this: Stop spending more than you earn. Seriously, that's where it's gotta start. Stop spending more than you earn. If you earn $200 a week, why are you spending $500? "'Cause I got a credit card". Credit card ought to be used like a check. If the money ain't in the bank, you don't write it.
Now we talkin' about common-sense stuff. You thought we was gon' say, "Remove the financial problems". No, we sayin' "Quit spendin' more than you make". It's called, like, hyper-consumption. It means every time you get a raise, you figure out another way to commit that new money to other stuff. Life ain't gon' always be the way it need to be. But start somewhere. Start somewhere. Quit lookin' for your dream house, and you never had a house. Just look for a house that you can treat like a bank, so instead of throwin' your money away every month, at least you're depositing it into equity so you can get somethin' back, versus not being able to get somethin' back because the same amount of money you spending, throwin' away every month on renting property, you can find a house, might not be the one you want, but it's a bank, it's a equity, that you can take out a little later on to help you to buy another house.
"But I don't know what it is. I don't know. I don't". Calm down. Don't even... And then you end up buying a house which is more than you think, and then, because you Christian, you think you know what we do? We always try to change the rules or make excuses. You gotta stop doin' that. And, somehow, you hope "Well, if I can just get in there, then the Lord'll help me". And now the first night in the house, you can hardly sleep because you stressed out. "I need 200 more dollars to be able to make this payment". Who does that? The Bible talks about little by little. There are levels in how he wants to do things, and we still think, I mean, what would happen to me if I took one step? I'mma take one step to the floor.
Somebody, say, "Let's see, a'ight"? It's the same way with you spendin' more than what you earn. Why drive a car that hurts? Drivin' a car in stress, leaning in stress, that ain't even a lean. You just so stressed out on the right side of your head. Meditate on things that are more valuable than money. Meditate on the Word of God. Meditate on wisdom and understanding. Meditate on the anointing. Give and sow seeds. "Give and sow seeds? I already ain't got no money". And, yeah, there's a reason why you ain't already got no money. There's always a reason why.
You think that it's, "Well, the reason why I don't have no money is because of the circumstances in life". You're a Christian. So, if Jesus died for everything, and there's no provisions for you financially, there's no such thing as wholeness. "Wholeness" means nothin' missin' and nothin' broken. You would think the number one major issue in a person's life being finances, that Jesus didn't make any provisions for that? But mammon is holdin' a lot of you down. You trust money more than you trust God, and when you trust money more than you trust God, then you're gonna, often time, end up in a ditch, tryin' to figure out how you got there.