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Dealing with Job Stress
by Carl E. Carey, Jr.

Did you know that if you are employed full-time that approximately 30% of your entire week is spent at work?  That means your job is a significant part of your life and takes up a significant amount of your time.  Because our jobs are so important to our lives, it is critical that we do our best to have a healthy existence while we are at work.

Some of you may really enjoy your job.  That's great!  If you feel valued at work, enjoy being around your co-workers, and feel that you are doing something that is personally satisfying and meaningful to you—then you are truly blessed!  I have talked with numerous people who really like their careers and are fulfilled and happy with their occupation.  We should all seek to find a job that is rewarding and enjoyable.

Of course, for every person who really likes their job, there are two or three who don't enjoy going to work at all.  What is a person to do?  We must earn a living, so how do we keep our sanity and Christianity while on job?

There are a number of major causes of stress in the workplace.  Conflict with supervisors and co-workers, a huge workload, low pay, on-the-job politics, boredom and a depressing job function are just some of the things that can cause people to become stressed out.  Because we don't want to be unhappy, moody and burned out, we must find some peace at work.

Romans 12:18 says that, "if it is possible as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."  This scripture is saying that we should do our part to be at peace with others.  While at work, we should try our best to get along well with co-workers and supervisors.  Sometimes that's going to require effort.  You might have to invite the person you are in conflict with to lunch.  That gesture could be the beginning of peace for you.  In Matthew 18:15, the Bible gives us the example of going directly to the person who has sinned against us.  You will be amazed at how communication really can heal relationships.  While I understand that there are some people who simply don't respond to efforts to "bury the hatchet", we as Christians still have a responsibility to try.

When nothing seems to improve your work situation, you might just be burned out and need to change something about your job or actually change jobs.  Life is too short to be unfulfilled and discontent for long stretches of time.  Take action and do something to change your circumstances.  Envision what your ideal job situation would be and then do what it takes to make that dream become a reality.  Your dream could mean that you have to go back to school and receive additional education; it might mean that you have to leave your comfort zone and take some risks or put in more time and effort to get where you are trying to go in life.  Don't let life pass you by, with faith in God, go for your dream!

In this economy, just being employed is a blessing.  There will always be something about your job that could be better.  Learn to be thankful for the good things and do your best to work on the bad things.  When there is more bad than good on your job, it could be time for you to start praying and asking God for His guidance and intervention.  With God, all things are possible—He is absolutely able to help you improve your job situation and your life!





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