Do you ever have those days that just don’t go the way you want? You have people who bother you, deadlines to meet, work to do, problems to fix, relationship issues, decisions to make…ad infinitum. When life gets hard, it’s easy to focus on our problems and make them worse. You get tunnel vision. All you can see are the struggles in front you. This happens to me all the time. I make mountains out of molehills. Really, what I do is focus too much on myself. I get so consumed with myself and what’s going on in my life that it becomes unhealthy. Sound familiar?
So, what’s the answer?
First, turn to God. Peter tells to cast all of our anxieties on Him “because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Our problems are not big to God. He can handle them, and the good news is, He wants to handle them. God likes to help us. “Fear not” the Lord said through Isaiah, “for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Second, get some perspective. Often times, the problems we face pale in comparison to what other people are facing. I have a friend who tells me, when I complain to him about my life, that I don’t have a problem. I just have an inconvenience. He’s usually right. The man facing a terminal illness, he has a problem. The family about to lose their home and face homelessness, they’re really struggling. In most cases, the problems we face aren’t problems at all, they’re just mere inconveniences. Given enough time, they won’t even be remembered.
Third, help someone else. I have found that the best remedy to self-centeredness is to help another person. Why? Because when I help other people, I am not thinking about myself anymore. I am not thinking about me and my problems. I am focusing on their issues and how I can be of service to them. Think about Jesus on the night before He died. What did He do? He washed His disciple’s feet (John 13:1-20). He taught them great truths. He comforted them when they grew sad. He served them even though He was about to die. Though the Bible doesn’t tell us, I would guess that the attention He gave His disciples helped Jesus take His mind off the cross for a moment. We can learn a lot from His example.
I am not trying to minimize pain and suffering. Your struggles are real, and they deserve real attention. But if you’re like me, most of the things we worry about and struggle with aren’t worth it. So, the next time you’re tempted to make a problem bigger than it is, or you’re just focusing too much on yourself, take some time to pray. Give it to God and let Him help you with your concerns. If you still feel like your problems are massive, get some perspective. Realize there are bigger things going on this world. Finally, go and serve someone else. Get out of yourself for a while and make someone else’s life better.
Thanks for reading!
Brandon Sutton is the Senior Pastor at Blue Ridge Christian Union Church. You can email him at Pastor2334@gmail.com