“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
My buddy Craig told me some Gold awhile back that has made a huge impact on the way I see this life. It’s such a simple truth but like a lot of stuff, I try to complicate it and make it so much harder than it has to be. When he told me this I was facing some situations where I had to have some tough conversations and make some moves that I knew was the right thing to do but what held me up was the surrounding people’s reactions towards it. I’ve always struggled with being a people pleaser and that’s not always a bad thing but for me it got to the point where if someone was upset or had bad feelings toward me, then it wrecked me. I would end up worrying myself to death trying to find a solution to fix those relationships but the truth was I can’t control what others actions and feelings are toward me. After learning this the hard way so many times this was my buddy’s advice, “you can’t control the things that surround you, you can only control you, how you carry yourself and act towards others. Only focus on what you can control.”
Pretty simple right??? This simple piece of advice has turned my world of people pleasing upside down and in a good way. Once I started focusing on it more I noticed how much deeper it goes. Not just with people but with any situation that comes in life. I try to constantly control the outcome of situations and fix it but that outside stuff is out of my control. Instead of sitting and worrying over it, letting that worry lead to a lot of insecure and complicating thoughts, it helped me realize even more how I needed to take my hand out of everything and trust the Lord is in control. All we can do is focus on Him, learning how to better serve and be an example of love to people, and the more our focus is on Him all that other stuff we get so worked up over falls into place.
I’m not saying don’t take others feelings and actions into account but at the end of the day you can’t control how they feel. If we try to make our world perfect and how we want it we will fail every time. We can’t please every body. I noticed the more I tried to control my world and how people felt about me, it led me to disaster every time because I was acting out of what I thought was right, going completely out of what I thought would fix it and at the same time I was moving farther from the Lord’s will. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it yet but our understanding of a problem is a whole lot different than how the Lord would see it and act in it.
When I used to work as a bellman at a hotel my main objective was to please the guest. There were times I went out of my to serve them and display a loving attitude towards them but they would still treat me badly and be upset towards me. It didn’t make sense to me but immediately I wanted to get mad back at them. Especially after a few times of getting cussed out by guests, I didn’t act very nicely back to them. Our understanding says yeah, go let them have it, they deserve everything they get. The lesson with that was I can’t control how they act or how they feel, all I can control is how I do my job, work as hard as I can to serve them and give a big smile with a loving attitude. Once I realized that, people would yell at me for being mad at other stuff and I would want to laugh. I thought geez man what’s this solving? I wanted to act harshly right back at them but I chose to smile as big as I could and work even harder. Talk about some confused guests.
Acting in those situations in the ways I wanted to act would have only made the situation worse. Looking at it in the eyes of Christ, focusing on Him and knowing I can’t control all that crap but I can control how I handle myself. Treating it that way is the only way to make it better. Sometimes guests got even madder or still treated me badly but that’s on them. A lot of the time it actually cooled them down, put them in a better mood and brought love into both sides of the equation.
I hope these rambling examples help! The main point is to seek the Lord in everything you do. Don’t fear others problems or situations that you can’t control. Trust the Lord and focus on what you can control by living out the example of Christ in every area of your life. That’s where change happens. If you don’t like a situation, instead of worrying yourself to death and trying to fix it, keep trusting in the Lord, serve and love even harder in everything you do. Focus on what you can control and the Lord will take care of the rest. I pray these simple truths gives you freedom to walk out your life with Christ this week. No matter what happens, who spits in your face, it can’t hurt you and it can’t take away the fact you are a child of God, with an inheritance of eternity. Love even more and trust even harder, you’ll see the difference.
You can’t turn the wind, so turn the sail.