Bible Character: Paul
Everyone has some type of stress in their life; the Apostle Paul was no different.
I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food…besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:27-28 NIV
Leadership can bring a unique level of stress with it. What are some ways to manage it?
Start with your personal life
It’s safe to assume that if your personal life is not in “order”, it will contribute to a higher level of stress in your professional life. It might be a relationship at home, it could be that your body is not healthy, maybe it’s even a sin you’re dealing with?
Keep the big picture in mind
Leaders deal with tough situations and make difficult decisions on a reoccurring basis. At the same time, they should be able to recognize the big picture more easily than others. If we stop looking at the broad view, the stress from the current circumstances can be magnified and have negative effects on us.
It can be tempting to focus on stress so much that it begins to have a negative effect on the others around you. Paul’s situation was probably worse than yours.
Why is Paul boasting about his stress and sufferings in 2 Corinthians?
What he is really saying is that he freely chooses this life because he has a passion to follow Christ. Pursuing Christ was important enough to him that he could accept the stresses that came with it. The same is true for leaders, they have passion for the mission and realize that stresses will come with it, but choose to manage life with it.