Gallup recently conducted its annual poll of the emotional state of people worldwide and found that Americans were more likely to be stressed and worried than much of the world. The poll indicated that the 55% of Americans who experienced stress was one of the highest rates out of the 143 countries studied and that it beat the global average by a full 20 percentage points. Gallup also points out that 45% of Americans worried a lot and 22% said they "felt anger a lot." Among the most angry countries in the world, Gallup reports, are also Islamic-Iraq, Iran, the Palestinian Territories, Morocco, Turkey, Niger, Chad, Libya, and Pakistan. There's a lot of stress, worry and anger in the world-all things we must resist.
We get all wrapped up in politics and entertainment and day to day life. The mixture of the three may cause a lot of worry and anxiety. But what does Christ say about this? In Matthew 6:31-34, he says, "Therefore take no thought, saying What shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Stress, anger and worry are not of the Lord. And, yes, I know full well that they hit us every day full force. This is a matter of focusing on the good and controlling what you can control. The rest will take care of itself. When challenges present themselves, take a breath. Focus on the task at hand. Don't take it personal or get over emotional about it. Then start working on those things that you can impact. It's a matter of renewing your mind and understanding who you are and why you are on this earth. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
The rest of the world can be stressed, angry and worried. I find it so interesting that Islamic areas of the world are more angry than other cultures. If they were following the one true God, perhaps not only the words of the Holy Scriptures would give them peace, but also the Holy Spirit would guide them personally to not be so angry. We in America have so much for which to be thankful. Our worst living conditions are better than most of the world. But I have seen brothers and sisters in Africa who face tremendous challenges each day, but they are not angry-they have the joy of the Lord and they practice the words of Christ by allowing the morrow to take thought for the things of itself. Have a blessed, and stress/anger/worry-free day today. Practice it. Renew your mind. Find the joy of the Lord and embrace it!