Who do you give power to?
That may sound like a funny or irrelevant question, but after a moment of consideration you may be surprised at your answers.
For example, what kind of commitments do you keep? do you volunteer or sign up for all sorts of things only to begrudgingly participate later? do you weigh the amount of time and energy you have available before raising your hand?
You may also ask yourself why certain people or things really irk you. For example, is there a good reason why the lady sitting in the third pew always seems to distract and aggravate you each Sunday… or is the reason petty and boils down to a simple conflict of personalities?
Many women struggle with issues of people pleasing and/or control. While these may or may not be related in any instance, one can begin to address either issue by making practical decisions about what or whom we allow to influence our emotions, our use of time, and our levels of peace.
Let’s repeat that: what do you allow to influence your emotions, use of time, & level of peace?
Have you over-committed yourself and thus need to reassess your schedule and priorities? Have you allowed someone or something to become a bigger problem than need be?
If this post is relevant to your current state of mind, then it is likely that you are well aware of the issue you need to address. I encourage you to first pray as a means of pausing your negative emotions and inviting in the Holy Spirit’s guidance; then step back and assess it from a reality-based perspective by asking yourself “what is the reality of this situation, not the emotion behind it?” For example: is the lady in the third row intentionally trying to throw the choir off key or interrupt the weekly bible study discussion? or is her personality one that is just overall oblivious to her surroundings? If it is the later, then choose to accept her an opportunity to grow in patience and not as a personal enemy. Can you see the difference in the amount of power and energy you have given to that particular situation?
It may also be helpful to call a trusted friend for some accountability. I have been known by my close friends to say “please keep me in check… here is what’s going on.” Humbly asking for honest feedback from an outside person can often bring in a new perspective that can sheds light on the solution. As you discern the practical steps needed to regain your peace, I will close with a few scriptures to reiterate the importance of prioritizing those persons and things to which you give power, energy and influence in your life.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. – Ecclesiastes 10:2
For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? – 1 Timothy 3:5
You shall have no other gods before me. – Exodus 20:3