Managing Stress Like Jesus: Join a Small Group


You weren’t meant to handle all of your stress on your own. Jesus models for us another way.

“[Jesus] said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’” (Matthew 26:38 NIV).

Did you know Jesus had a small group?

Read the Gospels, and you’ll realize Jesus did just about everything with his small group—those he called to be his closest disciples.

It reveals one of the seven stress-management principles of Jesus. Here are five we’ve already discussed:

  1. Identification: Know who you are
  2. Motivation: Know whose approval you are living for
  3. Vocation: Know your calling
  4. Concentration: Focus on what matters most
  5. Meditation: Listen to God

The sixth principle is collaboration. If you want to reduce your stress, you need to get in a small group.

You were never intended to handle the stress of life by yourself. God wants you to share it with others.

You’ve probably heard this statement: If you need to get something done right, do it yourself.

That’s a recipe for stress—not success!

It’s not what Jesus did. The very first thing Jesus did in his ministry was to form a small group. He knew God intended we live in community, so he lived out that truth.

Jesus turned to his small group during the most stressful night of his life. When Jesus knew he’d be arrested in Garden of Gethsemane, the night before he went to the cross, he didn’t go alone. He took his small group with him.

The Bible says, “[Jesus] said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’” (Matthew 26:38 NIV).

Jesus didn’t need his small group’s advice. He didn’t need their words of comfort. He just needed their presence.

If Jesus benefited from a small group, imagine all the ways you can benefit, too!

Talk It Over

  1. How have relationships helped you deal with stress in your life?
  2. If you’re not in a small group, what keeps you from joining one? If you’re in a small group, what can keep you from being more invested in it?
  3. What are some ways you can help other people in your life shoulder some of their stress?

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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