Recently I came across six towels stained by bleach in the course of one week. When I saw that 6th towel, I had a choice: I could blow a fuse, or just let it go. Now, usually I would opt for blowing a fuse. I would fret and fume. That’s what I’d already been doing for a week.
Visitors to Turkey rented our home while we were gone this summer. On our return, we found encouraging notes all over the house, a thoughtful letter apologizing for things they’d damaged, and $50 to pay for replacements. Initially I was won over by the sweetness of these visitors, but as I came across each damaged item, my patience started wearing thin.
I started fretting and fuming.
Each day we find a million reasons to worry or complain. And when we continually give voice to fretting, it eats away at our insides and wears us down.
I want to be settled and centered on Christ rather than eaten up and worn down by worry, annoyance, and discontent.
I want more Jesus and less fretting.
So on the day I discovered that 6th towel, I made the decision to change my focus. Our house visitors had simply not known how to use a Turkish washing machine. It was NOT a big deal. Instead of ranting, I forced myself to sing a little worship song.
And you know what?
The Holy Spirit came down.
I was able to let it go.
Philippians 4:6-8 offers some clear instructions on how to get more of Jesus inside of us:
Let it Go
Pauls says, “DON’T fret or worry.” Period. (If only living this verse were as easy as reading it.) Letting things go starts with a decision to repent and change our focus.
I love the idea of shaping our worries into prayers. Wouldn’t our prayer lives grow exponentially if we turned each anxious thought into a prayer?
Praise gets more of God into our hearts. It takes our focus off of ourselves and our worries, and onto God.
The New Living Translation says it this way, “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (v. 6) It sounds simple, yet we often zero in on our needs without thanking God for what he’s already done.
Settle and Center Yourself on Christ
I want Jesus at the center of my thoughts. More Jesus; less fretting. Even while I was writing this post, a family problem came up, and I started to WORRY! So I eeked out a prayer, “Lord, you’re in control. I choose to trust you.” It was all I could manage, but it changed my mental landscape.
I want to be proactive about replacing useless thoughts with positive prayer, praise, thanks, and a commitment to return to Christ every time I find myself fretting. I need more Jesus.
What about you? Anyone else out there tend to fume and fret?