DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

ImageThe reason why most people lead unhappy lives these days is because they pay too much attention to just the wrong things. They focus and concentrate on small stuff that should never be a priority at all. Things that while at the surface it may seem normal to pay close detail to; they are actually very disastrous in the long run. We deliberate over negatives and end up filling our minds with poisonous thoughts that hamstring us from achieving God’s intended purpose in our lives.

As a Christian, there are certain things that the Bible teaches us to ignore. They say energy flows where attention goes, so you need to conserve your energy by paying mind to only that which is of benefit. You need to be selective to what you want to grow; thoughts, people, etc.

One group you need to distance yourself from is that coterie of negative people. You may have already noticed that no matter how hard you try, there are some people who will never be for you. These are the people who are always pinpointing your slightest faults, but will never appraise you. I am speaking of that boss who will get on your nerves all week just because there was a traffic jam and you came in late on Monday. I am talking about that friend who, instead of rejoicing when you got that promotion, started spreading malicious rumors about you and the boss. The husband who never appreciates your cooking also fits snug in this category.

In the book of 1st Samuel, we get to read the story of how Saul was anointed by God to become the first king of Israel. However, not all people were happy for him. Some of Saul’s most trusted allies and close friends were burning with jealousy; and they flagrantly displayed their contempt towards the future king. They even refused to bring him gifts. How did Saul react? The Bible tells us that he paid them no mind.

That’s what I am asking of you today. Pay no mind to the naysayers. Pay no mind to the critics. Pay no mind to the haters. The Lord is the one you need to please, not them. So you just heard that your ex is saying bad things about you. What are you going to do? Confront them? And how exactly is that going to help you achieve your goals? If anything, you will only succeed in wasting your time and energy. Just ignore them. Don’t waste your energy engaging in battles that don’t matter. Ask yourself, if you get into the battle and win the fight, what next?

So what if somebody is constantly pouring cold water on your plans; always belittling you; always telling you that you can’t? Will you chose to believe them? I don’t think so. Let’s say you plan starting your own business, but nobody seems to understand that your idea is worth two pence. They keep telling you about how so and so started the same venture and failed; they tell you will never raise enough capital; they give you all the reasons why you have never been good at business. Choose to believe them at your own peril. If you pay any attention to their words, that will surely be the beginning of your doom. The more you dwell on their negative words, the more you will start believing them, and the more your chances of success will be throttled. Put in mind that when someone tries to belittle you, they are already being little. Remember; they say you can’t, but God tells us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Avid readers of the Bible would note that Jesus wasn’t loved by everyone. The Pharisees especially, were always on his case. The Bible records that many a times; Jesus answered them not a word. Jesus understood that He did not need everyone’s approval. He did not sweat over trying to please everybody.

Something else that you must learn not to loose sleep on is your shortcomings and limitations. Don’t you know that the Living Lord we serve is bound by no limitations? Remember the anecdote about Abraham in the Bible. He was over ninety years old, and his wife was barren. But this couple somehow managed to give forth a son. How did they do it? The answer is found in Romans 4:19. Abraham ignored the fact that he was advanced in age, and that his wife’s womb was dead. Instead, the father of all nations chose to concentrate all his faith in God’s promises.

Say you want to get a job; ignore the fact that you don’t know any influential people. It is better to get that job though God the Father than through a godfather. Say you want to venture into a business; ignore the fact you don’t have enough capital. Pray to God and money will come dropping from left, right and centre.

Try to distance yourself from circumstances that cause stress as much as possible. If you always quarrel with your wife over the remote control, why don’t you save yourself from the evening dose of migraine and buy an extra TV instead? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Perchance the house-help unintentionally breaks your favorite china mug on a Monday morning, are you gonna let that steal your joy for the rest of the week? Reprimand her if you must, but while at it remember to smile and forget the incident as soon as possible. That’s the secret to happiness.

In summary, don’t quit just because your friend got jealous. It is better to flatter a fool than fight him. Don’t let situations you have no control over raise your blood pressure. But most important, the only person you have to please is God.

By: Jowal Jones

jonesdeelder@gmail.com

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.