Living With Stress vs Distress


I believe that there is a difference between “stress” and “distress.” Stress is not only necessary, but it is good for you. Unfortunately, it gets a bad rap. People who are distressed often say that they are “stressed,” making the word have a different applied meaning and connotation. When people say, “I have a stressful job!” they really mean that they have a “distressful” job.

Stress, on the other hand, strengthens the body, mind and spirit and adds to growth, strength, and maturity. Distress is an “over-abundance” of just about anything and everything, including stress. Whew! Makes ya wanna take a nap.

“Honey, I’m stressed out here! Can I get some help from you?” It’s not just a matter of semantics. We don’t always realize the real problem because we are used to hearing words used in the wrong way.

There is an appropriate amount of healthy stress that people should thrive on. The problem in our society is too much of a good thing amounts to lust. The lust driven life easily shifts from healthy stress to distress – like zero to sixty in two seconds! This is part of the lust driven life. Distress causes an enormous amount of health problems for which we go to church and respond to the healing line and expect a miracle in the wrong portion of our lives. We truly ought to seek healing for the source of the problem and let the body heal itself.

We need healing alright. If we had “healing” in our thoughts – on our minds – we would have healthier bodies and lives. In a nutshell, it is our thinking that needs to change so that our bodies can have the time and resources to heal themselves. This is a major reason for sickness and disease in the western church in this hour.

Lazy minds make sick minds and bodies. Tired minds do the same. It is sometimes impossible to judge between lazy or just plain tired.

Diet can effectually help the tired mind. I’m not talking the slim-trim diets that are so popular today. Healthy eating makes a big difference in a person’s ability to think in a vigorous manner. Fast foods, processed foods, and those things we eat way too much of can easily slow the mind to a snails pace with the result of poor thinking and lets our guard down to the invasion of vain imaginations.

Exercising the body is a good thing. Exercise puts stress upon the body to function properly. Too much exercise and the stress goes from stress to distress very quickly. The result is a lust filled lifestyle.

Exercising the mind is even more important, yet we should consider exercising the mind while exercising the body as well. Body chemistry plays such an important part in the way we think and nothing adjusts the chemistry of the body like eating healthy foods, exercising responsibly and taking control of your own mind.

Unclean thoughts come to every person’s mind, but the disciplined mind will cast the unclean out as foreign matter! This is what the scripture means when it tells us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” So we are talking about putting a bit of stress or discipline to our minds and controlling what we ponder. This is the kind of stress that is placed upon the mind that will bring freedom and liberated thinking, as well as a heart filled with wonder and awe at the things of God!

Using proper stress for the mind is a wonderful healing process. Placing proper stress on the body does the same. Put a proper amount of stress upon diet and the kind of foods that we eat will only benefit us and relieve us of the distresses that can hurt us.

An “over-abundance” of distress will direct our paths into the lust driven life and cause destruction, disease, and even death. Discernment, discipline, forethought and prudence are really good principles for the healing life and are strengthening aspects, perhaps even foundation stones, for miracles of faith when the miracle is needed.

So, perhaps the question should be asked, “if distress is causing a lust driven life and symptoms of sickness in the person, should we be seeking a miracle cure of the symptom of sickness or should we seek to be delivered from the distress?”

A tremendous amount of healing would take place if we would simply quantify the distresses in our lives and take steps to become Spirit-led Christians instead of lust driven people. I don’t mean to sound harsh in any way, but I’m looking for answers to the pain and sufferings of so many in the body of Christ in this age. So much temptation comes toward us every hour. Media exploits our minds at every turn.

Stress is very important to us for the purpose of healing, but distress is the vehicle that carries us to the lust driven life.

Consider these things personally and see if you can readjust your thinking and lifestyle to produce health and wealth in Godly proportions.1Let us live to live, not live to lust and therefore, live to die.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!”
Psalms 107:19-21 (NASB)


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