Have any of you ever felt stressed at the end of the day because something didn’t go as you had hoped or planned? I put a lot of pressure on myself to not let people down and do the right thing. But sometimes I over think things to the point where I paralyze myself rather than acting confidently. So, the other night I began to think about what it is that I really spend my time focusing on, thinking about, and yes, even stressing over. The more I thought about it, I began to realize that all the things that I spend time thinking about and stressing over have taken the place of the Lord. I know that may seem a bit extreme, but think about it with me, when I stress out about work, money, friends, and even family, I am placing some type of excessive value on approval or success defined by those things.
Scripture is very clear that we can only serve one god and gives specific examples of how to address each of these in relation to Himself.
Work: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23 ESV)
Money: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 ESV)
Friends & Family: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26 ESV)
Don’t get me wrong, there is a fine balance between doing each of those things well, as we are called to in Scripture, but we are never told to allow them to take His place.
So, what is it that you put an exorbitant amount of energy and focus in each day? And what do you need to do to correct that focus?