The concept of tension has been prevalent in a number of my conversations in the last few weeks. There are two predominant definitions. First there is “the state of being stretched tight.” The second is “mental, emotional or nervous strain” – the end result is strain, stress, anxiety and pressure. Let me say, both variations of tension have the potential for your good.
The first definition talks about you being stretched tight. A good picture would be your life as a rubber band. Laying on the table, it really is just taking up space. It is filled with potential, talents and gifting but it is just taking its natural form. If you never pushed or challenged yourselves, you could have the same effect on all the potential inside of you. It would just take its natural form. Yet, if it is put into a place of tension, you start stretching those abilities. Some go on to tremendous greatness in those areas, while others move a few paces down the road of growth. Either way, tension does not allow us to stay where we are. It causes us to grow.
The second definition is tough when we think of the daily tasks and challenges we face that bring tension. Mental, emotional and nervous strain can lead to legitimate concerns in your stress, anxiety and pressures you face. How can you channel the tension in these areas to make it a catalyst for growth instead of a pothole to overwhelm you?
I sat in a day of meetings, strategy developing and passionate discussions about the workings of the church. There was a small percentage of time based on making a good decision instead of a bad decision. I find this true in my life. Good vs bad, right vs wrong, blessing vs pain – those are a small number of decisions I make on a daily basis. The tension comes when it is good vs good, right vs right and blessing vs different form of blessing. In other words, both sides of the tension mentally, emotionally and nervous will yield great results in the end. So how do you manage that tension? Let me throw a lot of concepts at you and you decide what resonates with you.
- What does God’s word say?
- What is core to your values?
- What are your priorities?
- What yields you the best results?
- What brings the most peace?
The concept of tension is challenging. In the end, you do your best and then you have to let it go. There are many promises found in the Bible about stress, anxiety and being nervous. When we invite God into the tension, then we can say what Job profoundly spoke in Job 42:2 (NIV) – “I know that you can do all things, no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
God is Big…