“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” — Matthew 7:12
Dwight Howard is almost 7 feet tall. He runs well and is a powerful defensive force for the Los Angeles Lakers. His warm smile and good demeanor make him a natural for commercials and fan appeal. His multimillionaire salary provides several homes in Georgia and elsewhere.
Even so, his wealth and fame couldn’t protect him from a shocking phone call. His former girlfriend, Melissa Rios, died of an epileptic seizure on March 27. She was 31 years old.
Suddenly, death knocked on Dwight’s door. He struggled to find words to comfort his son about the loss of his mother, but he was there for his son at the funeral and for the difficult days ahead. As Melissa didn’t plan her seizure, people don’t plan headaches, depression, anxiety, ulcers or high blood pressure, but stress contributes to a host of health issues.
As we face the virus crisis together, we help one another manage stress if we follow the “Golden Rule.” Jesus told us to treat one another the way we want to be treated. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Though all people should be kinder and gentler during these days of disaster, it doesn’t always happen.
How do we relieve stress? Pets are known to lower anxiety and blood pressure. Exercise calms anxious people. Daily walks lengthen lives. Also, regular prayer to God is good and steadies us when accompanied with Bible reading and uplifting music.
Since David was a highly emotional man, prayer helped him. “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice” (Psalm 55:17). Also, positive friendships help us cope. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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