Joyce Meyer - Dealing with Stress - Part 4
The Bible talks a lot about meditation, and that means to take a scripture and roll it over and over in your mind and mutter it under your breath. And the best thing you could do would be to take some kinda notes from what I'm saying today or buy a copy of it. You can probably even go home and watch it online after you're done here. And then study it yourself. Look up every scripture. There's value in looking them up and looking at 'em. And then meditate on it. If you have a friend that you can talk to about it, talk to them about it: "Let's talk about stress a little bit. What kind of stress do you have? What kind of stress do I have? What can we do about it?"
We need to stick with things a little bit longer because more is not always better. Sometimes less is better. Is anybody understanding what I'm saying today? I know it's early, but at least look somewhat alive. Okay? Are we missing important things? Are your children grown and you barely know them? Are you married to someone you barely know? Are you lonely because you never took time to build any quality relationships? Now's the time to do something about it. Now is the time to spend time with your kids while they're still little and you got 'em at home and you can develop those relationships.
And you know, we're so busy making money, and I realize it takes a lot of money to live in the world today, but don't think that more money is gonna replace the important things in your life because it's not. You'd be better off to have less money and better relationships. Because I can tell you, when you're on your deathbed, you're not gonna ask somebody to bring you your bank balance. You're gonna want your family and your friends around you, people who love you. You say, "Well, I wish I was closer to God". Well, we don't need wishbone, we need backbone. You're not, wishing gets you nothing. Action is what gets you something. Anybody can make room in their life to spend time with God if that's what they really wanna do.
Let's talk about exercise for about two minutes. Can we do that? My husband's been exercising 60 years. That's why he's gonna be 83 and he looks the way he does. 60 years! Is it 60 years or am I wrong? I don't wanna get corrected later. Has it been 60 years? Close enough. He says I'm close enough, that's good. And, I mean, very rarely does he ever miss. Every other day he works out. Well he kept telling me, "You need to exercise. You need to exercise". "I don't have time for that. I'm too busy doing God things". Well, believe it or not, exercise is a godly thing. And if you wanna be, have longevity, if you wanna still look decent when you're 70, then you need to start now. You need to do something about it now.
So, I kept saying I didn't have time, didn't have time, didn't have time, didn't have time. And so finally when I was 62, I looked at myself in the mirror one day and everything that used to be up here had dropped down there. You know what I mean? It's like, "What happened? How did I get in this condition"? Well, I'll tell you, prayer won't help that. You can pray about that all you want, it's not gonna move a thing. And so, actually, God spoke to me, and this is what he said, he said, "If you don't start exercising now, you are not gonna be strong enough for the last third of your journey". So, that's been 16 years ago and I started when I was 62. In two months, I'll be 80, and as we can see, I'm still doing it.
And people ask me when I'm gonna retire, I can't even say the word, I don't, you know, it's like, well, we won't get into all that, but I have had to make some radical changes. And we're gonna talk about how to make some of those changes in the next session. But I started working out and I didn't think I had time. But I said this, "I'm gonna do what I can. Even if it's five minutes, I'm gonna do something". And so, it's amazing, it amazes me when you really want to do something, how you can always find a way to do it. Where are you at? I like that. Thank you. Cause see, we all use that excuse, "I don't have time".
How many of you that's your standard excuse for not doing things right, "I don't have time"? "How are you brother"? "Busy". "How you been"? "Busy". I'm calling that the new four-letter word. God never called us to be busy. He called us to be fruitful. He didn't tell Adam and Eve, "Be busy and multiply". And we just, I don't know, that's become, that's like our badge of honor: we're busy.
I remember a man coming to our church years, and years, and years ago. You might even know him if I named him, so I won't. And Dave and I were real young in ministry, we were just, I don't even know if we, I guess I was teaching a Bible study in my home then. And part of our job was, at the church, was to pick up the speakers. So, we were hosting him that weekend. And he said to us, I remember him saying to me, "I haven't had a vacation in 12 years". And I thought, "Wow, he is really spiritual". Now, if he said that to me, I would think, "You are really stupid". Because that's not healthy. But see, we have just glorified work to the point where it's just ridiculous. I mean, it's like everybody wants to tell everybody how busy they are.
Hmm. I don't know if you're much fun this morning. I haven't decided. You're thinking, aren't you? My husband always tells me, "Leave 'em alone when they're quiet, they're thinking"! So anyway, when I got a trainer and they were gonna give me this exercise program and do it with me a couple of times and I was gonna go home and do it. Do that three months and go back and get a new program. So, they gave me this list of stuff to do and went through it all with me. And I went home, it took me an hour and a half, and I was so sore that I had to pray to get off the toilet. I mean, I fell on it and then had to pray to get off. I mean, I was so sore, I honestly thought I was gonna die. And well, I guess so. I mean, nothing here had been exercised, nothing.
And so, then when I went back, I said to my, "Am I ever gonna get any faster at this"? And they found out, what they gave me was two workouts. And I was supposed to switch 'em up, but they didn't make it clear and so I was doing the whole thing every day. No wonder I was sore. So anyway, long story, after four months, well, I liked working with them better, so I decided to just go to the gym. So, after four months, I had dropped a whole size. Hadn't lost any weight, but... Muscle weighs more than fat, but it don't take up as much room. And so, I liked that. I like going and getting my clothes taken in. So, long story short, I've been exercising ever since. And I don't like it every day. It's not easy every day. Some days it's hard, but I doubt very much if I'd still be preaching if I would have never done it.
So, anyway, you may not wanna exercise, that's up to you. But there's a whole lot of ways to do it. If you don't want to exercise, you can walk, you can run. You can bike, you can hike, I mean, there's all kinds of: play tennis, do something, but move. God gave us joints so we would move. Amen? At least get out of your recliner and move. So use your time wisely, life is short. Believe me, it's a lot shorter than you think it is. I cannot believe that my baby is 43. My goodness. Five ways to de-stress. Practice shrug therapy. "Oh, well. Oh, well". It's not worth getting upset over. There's so many things that we get upset over that's just, it's just not worth it. I spill things now and I just think, "Oh, well". And go clean it up. "Oh, well".
This morning, I took a lid on my lipstick and dropped the lipstick. And we've had fun in this hotel, the lights didn't work very good either. And I was freezing in the room and the air conditioning is apparently controlled by a computer somewhere. And they make you think you can control it, but you can't. And so, I'm crawling around on the floor this morning at 6 a.M. With my phone light trying to find the other half of this lipstick. And I mean, there were days when I would have ranted and raved and carried on and been so mad and now I'm just like, "Oh well, if I can't find it, I'll just leave it here. I'm not", I am not spending my life upset anymore. Is anybody with me?
Come on, the devil loves nothing better than to upset you and watch you throw a fit. Earn what your peace stealers are and learn to recognize when the enemy is bringing one of them against you and do something about it before it gets to your mouth. Because that's when you start having trouble. So, practice shrug therapy. Stay in your comfort zone. Know yourself. Don't compare yourself with other people. It doesn't matter what somebody else can do. You don't have to do what they do. You need to do what you know you are comfortable with. Amen?
Do you know, there's very few people that have the courage to be themselves? I'mma let you sit on that one a minute. Very few people that really have the courage to be themselves and feel like they don't need to apologize for it. So, what if you can't? You know, I don't read nearly as fast as a lot of people I know, and I wish I read faster but I don't. I mean, I know people that can read a whole book on an airplane. Well, you know a whole book takes me a long time. I don't care. If God wants me to read faster, then he'll have to do something about it. Come on, are you with me?
Third thing, eliminate everything from your schedule that's not bearing good fruit. We talked about that. I'm not gonna do that anymore. Are you sitting on a committee that does nothing but argue about what to do and never makes a decision? I remember being on a church committee and how many meetings we had over what color paint the front door. I mean, how dumb. How much time do you spend gossiping or listening to gossip? Yeah. How much time do you listen to other people complain about their problems and they have no intention of doing anything about it. How much time do you spend watching really stupid things on television? Or spend a whole night going from channel to channel, to channel, to channel.
I do not understand how you can have hundreds of stations and none of it be any good. I just don't get that. It's like, "Surely, if I keep looking long enough, I'll find something worth watching". How much time do you spend surfing the web and never really find any meaningful articles at all? Do not, and I repeat again, do not waste your time reading all the gossip. Most of that stuff is totally untrue. I find out all kinds of things about myself... That I don't even know. I mean, they know where I buy my clothes and all this kind of stuff, and it's all just baloney. It's just all made up. Time to relax and enjoy the things that you like to do. Choice overload. Do you know the average supermarket carries 48,000 items? There are 228 kinds of cold cereal. And these statistics are eight years old, so there's no telling how many there are now.
A missionary came over from Africa. And in Africa, at the time, they only had one cereal, it was called "Weetabix". And they only came to America every few years, and his wife really liked cereal, so she wanted to go to the grocery store and get some cereal. So, he took her to the grocery store. He stayed in the car. She never came out, never came out, never came out, never came out. She finally came out and she didn't have anything. He said, "Well, why didn't you buy anything"? She said, "There is so much stuff in there. It got me confused. I couldn't figure out what to buy". I did that one day with sinus medicine.
When I was a teenager, you had Dristan. Does anybody remember that? Ok, I know, I'm aging myself, but that's all there was. It was half yellow and half white, and it took care of everything. Now, you have, I mean, you don't know if it'll put you to sleep, if it'll keep you awake. I mean, you got sinus allergy, flu, drowsy, non-drowsy, you know, raises your blood pressure, does nothing, you know, it's like, "I don't know". I mean, I stood there 45 minutes, looking at all this stuff and I just left. I just, how many of you agree, that there's... We have choice overload? I mean, it's just... And so, I wanna encourage you, as I try to close this up this morning, to start making choices. And don't worry about what else you might be missing. If you see something you like, get it, and go home. Amen?
We remodeled a house, and I remember I spent days in the knob and drawer pull store. Yeah, there's a whole store that's just full of handles and knobs. And then I spent more days in the faucet store. And I'm gonna tell you the truth, this is absolutely the truth. After a month, I couldn't have told you what my faucets look like. I didn't have the slightest idea. I think I knew they were gold, and they were, copper, or some color, I don't remember but... So, the next time we built a house, and we've only built three in 57, 56 years, so that's not bad but, the next time we bought one, I mean, the lady that I bought my furniture from, she said, "I have never seen a human being make decisions as fast as you do".
Well, I learned. We just spend time on stuff that nobody else cares about, or will ever notice or see, and half of the time, we don't even pay any attention to it. So, I've learned how to make decisions. And part of the reason why people don't make decisions is because they're afraid they'll make the wrong one. And probably one of the worst wrong decisions in the Bible is the prodigal son, and even he turned out okay because after he realized he was way off, he went back home to his father who met him with open arms. So, you can't make a decision so bad that you can't overcome it. One little quick story, and I'm done.
Former president Ronald Reagan once had an aunt who took, and this is a true story, who took him to a cobbler to get a new pair of shoes. And the cobbler asked him if he wanted round toes or square toes, and he couldn't make his mind up. So, he said, "Well, you go home and think about it for a day or two, and then come back and tell me what you want". So, days went by and he never could make a decision. And the cobber called him, he said, "Your shoes are ready". So, he went to get 'em and they had, one had a round toe and the other one had a square toe. And he said, "Well, why did you do that"? He said, "To teach you that if you don't make decisions, somebody else will make them for you". Come on, give God a praise. Alright, I'm gonna pray for you.
Father, I pray for everybody here today that they will have less stress and have the courage to make whatever changes they need to make. And to realize that if they're overloaded, somebody else is not gonna come and fix it for 'em. They have to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit and have the courage to cut off things that are unfruitful. You've given us peace and I pray that we will walk and live in your peace. And be an example of that peace all around us. And I pray for people that are sick in their bodies. And I ask that if they're doing anything that's causing it, that you will show them what it is, even if it's something as simple as not drinking enough water. And I pray for healing and restoration, but I know in order for us to sustain it, that we must use more wisdom. So, I believe that I've not wasted my time here or theirs, and that they're gonna have better, more peaceful lives as a result of being here, in Jesus' name, amen.