Indeed there are things to be sad about ... but so much of what pulls at our emotions isn't worth our time and energy.
"Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear." James 1:19 (MSG)
My daughter Brooke got in the car the other day and sighed. It was one of those sighs that said, "I'm going through something, but unless you ask me, I'm not freely revealing this information."
I casually inquired, "Tell me the high from your day and your low."
"Mom," she groaned letting me know she secretly loved that I was asking, but all the middle school in her was making her play it cool.
I waited quietly knowing she'd eventually tell me. And she did. Something hard had happened at school that day.
I put my hand on hers, "I'm sorry sweetheart. I know that makes you sad."
To my surprise, this normally emotional child said, "Actually no. I've decided sometimes being sad or mad over stuff like this is a compete waste of my time."
And just like that she smiled and was ready to get on with her day. No tears. No tirade. No lamenting and wearing herself out with a tidal wave of emotion while over-processing this situation.
Just a 13-year-old's decision that this wasn't worth all that. The child turned tutor. The young one doling out wisdom.
Sometimes being sad or mad over stuff like this is a complete waste of my time.
I've mulled her statement over in my mind a hundred times. It's good. It's truth.
Indeed there are things to be sad about ... but so much of what pulls at my emotions isn't worth the time and energy I give it.
I love how James 1:19-21 reads in Eugene Peterson's paraphrase: Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation garden of your life.
Is there something you've been sad or mad about that maybe is a waste of your time? Ask God to help you have a different perspective.
Dear Lord, some days my emotions seem to steam roll me. Please help me reconnect with You and know that many times being sad or mad over stuff is a complete waste of my time. I'd rather focus on You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Sometimes being sad or mad over stuff is a complete waste of time.
Replace anger or sadness with praises to the Lord today.
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (NIV)