Under Pressure

Pressure.  What a word.  It’s a word that creates a weighty feeling.  However, it’s more than a word.  Pressure is a vital part of maturity…physically, mentally, and most of all spiritually.  It’s a needed aspect of every part of life.  But, it’s a feared and misunderstood part of the growth process.  It’s the part of the process that produces the end result everyone wants, but in today’s young adult society, and in some of the over 40 “church” people, we want and try our best to skip out on the pressure.  We want the end result without the pressure

This year, 2017, I have spent a lot of time in prayer and thought about this very word “pressure”.  The Holy Spirit highlighted this word while doing marriage counseling with 2 young adult couples and while sharing my life with several young adults (Discipleship).  My wife and I have done more of this over the past 3 years as part of our ministry.   I started noticing that a lot of young adults do not know how to act (use self control) when pressure enters into the picture.  They especially can’t problem solve when pressure comes.  As I continued to counsel/disciple/minister to these young adults I was praying about this and asking for a strategy and solution for this problem.  I finally heard the answer.  I was part of the problem, as well as this generation’s parents, coaches and some teachers.  I know what you are thinking, “What?! We are trying to help!  What are you talking about?!”  I was counseling/discipling in a way to try to keep them from feeling “pressure”, especially the ones getting married.

Let me try to explain.  We as leaders, parents, coaches, teachers, have said things like, “You can do and be anything”.  “You are meant for greatness”.   “It’s all right, I’ll do it for you”.   “Your just as good as they are”.  “You deserve it”.   “At least you tried here’s your trophy/reward/paycheck”.   “Everyone’s a winner”. “Yes”.  (Most people from 18-30s haven’t heard the word “no” very much).  I’ve said these very things.  While counseling/discipling, I was trying to not only equip these people to get thru life but trying to control how they responded to life.  I was trying to keep them from the “pressure”.

When you know someone isn’t as good as you it’s brings pressure for you to do what it takes to get better.   When someone is successful, it’s because pressure was applied to get successful.  When you hear “no”, it applies pressure to do the right thing so the answer next time is “yes”.  Or, pressure helps produce self-discipline.  If you don’t finish or meet the goal, it applies pressure to work harder.  If someone doesn’t do it for you, pressure of not succeeding produces the ability to work hard and problem solve.  When you lose, pressure helps you figure out how to win, it makes you realize you don’t deserve to win just because you showed up.

Myles Munroe, in his book, The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage says,

“The basic Greek word for “marry” or “marriage” is gameo, which derives from the same root as our English word “gem.” That root word literally means to “fuse together.” Fusion of different elements into one describes the process by which precious gems are formed deep in the earth. That process is also an apt description of marriage.”

It takes pressure to make a diamond.   It is two ordinary elements coming together, under PRESSURE, to make something extraordinary.  We have a generation of people who want the diamond with out the pressure pushing two elements together over time.  It’s a process…it’s not instant.  Holy Spirit helped me realize that he would add pressure and I was to encourage/equip/disciple people.   The person (1 ordinary element) my counsel (1 ordinary element) along with life and Holy Spirit (the pressure) would create something amazing.  I was just to be available when asked (by the person or couple), to partner with Holy Spirit and help them thru the pressure.  My job is not to help them escape the pressure.  It’s not even my job to make sure they succeed or fail.

I recently had a teen from church along with a young adult helping me on a job.  The young adult left later in the day and the teen that was with me said, “I feel like I should know that guy. Where have I seen him?”  I proceed to tell him he has been to church some but not regularly and only comes every now and them.  I then say, “He’s trying to figure it out.”  With out skipping a beat the youth says, “At least he’s trying to figure it out.” Wow! What a thought.  Holy Spirit instantly reminded me of everything I’m writing in this article.  Here before my eyes, this young adult (1 element) my counsel (1 element) with the pressure of the Holy Spirit and life were creating a jewel right in front of me.  I just needed a wise 15 year old to remind me.  My job is just to obey, wait and show grace.

I spend my much of my life around young adults.  As I have stepped back and allowed Holy Spirit to add pressure, not do too much for them, say “No”, let them fail, told some they are not as talented as they think, and told some they are not being successful we have noticed something:  The pressure is creating some maturity.  It’s starting to create a jewel.  It’s small, and can’t always be seen with the naked eye but when the SON hits it just right it starts to shine.

Mike Brown
Young Adult Pastor

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