Coping With Crises

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‘When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.’ Psalm 142:3

How you handle a crisis can determine whether you end up feeling overwhelmed or come out stronger. Dr Jeffrey Rossman suggests five ways to do it:

(1) Acknowledge your feelings. David said, ‘When my spirit was overwhelmed… You knew my path.’ God already knows how you feel, and stifling your emotions just saps your energy, leaves you tense, depressed, and slows the healing process.

(2) Confide in someone. That doesn’t mean pouring your heart out to everybody and anybody; it means opening up to those who love and care about you.

The Bible says, ‘A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity.’ (Proverbs 17:17 AMPC) Numerous studies have confirmed the power of social support to help us through crises and stay healthy.

(3) Start a journal or a blog. Writing about a traumatic event is a way of letting it out. It minimises your chances of becoming sick or depressed; the more you write, the more your negative responses to the memory diminish.

(4) Refuse to play the blame game: ‘It’s the other person’s fault,’ or ‘The doctor botched the procedure,’ or ‘The boss never gave me a chance.’ Blame-shifting makes others responsible for your pain, and more often than not, it results in lingering grudges that prolong your misery.

Let go of toxic bitterness and judgment. Stop feeling like a doormat; you can forgive while taking steps to make yourself less vulnerable next time.

(5) Forgive yourself. Surprise—you’re human like everybody else!

Acknowledge you made a mistake, ask God for forgiveness, then forgive yourself and move on. God’s Word says when He forgives, He says, ‘I will not remember your sins.’ (Isaiah 43:25 ESV) Neither should you.

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SoulFood: Neh 8–10, John 18:25–40, Ps 105:1–7, Pr 30:1–4.

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