We all carry so many things that we just don’t have too. I have some pretty great friends. We were talking yesterday about the things that consume our thought lives and I think it was a rude awakening for us all. The things that consume my thought life are so unproductive and down right destructive. This got me thinking about todays post.
Today I want to talk through several things that we carry around and allow to overtake our thoughts. We are going to look at some things that I think we all need to get rid of right away. These things take our eyes off of Jesus and the abundant full life He has provided for us.
Ugh. Bitterness. Bitterness is just as awful as it sounds. Few people enjoy the taste of something that is bitter. Even if you do like the taste, you can’t help but make that awful pucker face that doesn’t look good on anyone.
Bitterness is a poison. It’s a cancer that spreads and shapes our perspective. It is a prison that we lock ourselves in and pocket the key all the while blaming everyone who walks by and can’t let you out because you alone have the key.
God tells us not to allow bitterness in. Accepting that we are in control of whether we will be bitter or not is a hard truth to swallow but a necessary one. Bitterness must be cast out. Generally this means we have to do some forgiving. God tells us not to allow bitterness because 1. We are able to withstand it and 2. Your unforgiveness only hurts you.
You can read more about How to Sweeten Your Life & Overcome Bitterness here!
This one is the worst. Anxiety is like those super worn slippers that you’ve had for years. You really need to throw them away but they’re just so easy and comfortable to slip on. It’s like you go to. When you have to run out the door in a hurry what shoes do you grab those easy and worn in slippers.
At least this is how anxiety is for me. It’s my old go to. Something crazy pops up? Quick! Worry about it! Worry about it all day long. Thing of every possible thing that could go wrong. Allow your blood pressure to slowly rise all day. Fret and then fret some more. Get yourself all good and worked up over something so tiny.
Anxiety is rooted in fear. Anxiety is a thought pattern. I know there are some with more extreme cases of anxiety that may need serious help from a doctor but most of us are capable of working through this pattern on our own, or more accurately with the help of Christ.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Philippians 4:8 give us a long list of things that should consume our thoughts. This doesn’t just happen though. It takes concentrated effort to retrain our minds to think on these things rather than ruminating and worrying all day. You have to make the effort to catch yourself thinking on destructive worrisome things and shift your focus.
I suggest starting a prayer journal. When a worry comes up write it down right away! Pray over that concern and then don’t fret about it any more. When it come back to your mind, remind your soul that you have already taken that issue to God and trust Him. Them shift you focus back to something Philippians 4:8 approved!
For more on what the Bible says about anxiety read this post or you could check out this post on How to Love More because love casts out fear.
Anger is also like a worn glove. It just fits you well when you’ve worn it long enough. First off, anger is not a sin. It is also not something you can get rid of. I know it’s weird that I put something on the list of things to get rid of that is impossible to get rid of. What I want us to get rid of is wrath, rage and resentment. If I listed those things, I fear they would be easy to write off as something you and I don't have.
It’s easy for me to think that I don't struggle with rage when I blow up the meaning of the word and make it something that doesn’t sound like me. Rage is actually just anger that is uncontrolled. Still sounds like something you can write off right? Then I hear that small tug on my heart that reminds me that when my husband upsets me my voice begins to rise and I have no control of lowering it until I calm down.
That is uncontrolled anger and it is motivated by wrath. Another word we don’t think applies to us. Wrath is just extreme anger. I have this often. I have broken furniture to prove it. Anger is not bad. It is what we allow to come from our anger that is the problem. It what we allow to incite anger that should be a concern. It’s how long we allow anger to fester.
Are you resentful? Resentment takes us back to bitterness. Resentment is anger that leads to bitterness.
Resentment, Wrath, Rage. These things are the things we have got to get rid of! They suck the life out of you. Anger is TERRIBLE for your health. Go back to Philippians 4:8 and work on that thought life. You can read more about overcoming anger here.
This one is the worst. I know I already declared anxiety the worst but this one really stinks too. Loneliness. For me this is a cycle of crazy. I feel lonely so I isolate myself because I believe the lie that no one want me around them anyway. I accept the deception that I am not important to anyone so it’s best that I just stay to myself. Then I get more lonely so I just keep this pattern going as i spiral downward into a pit of self induced depression and social anxiety.
Insanity. Proverbs 18:1 says: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” This verse wrecks me. The Amplified translations puts it this way,: “HE WHO willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.”
We are created for community. We were made to be in constant communication with God and with people. We can’t cut ourselves off from people or God. It’s crazy how they tend to go together. We isolate ourselves from people for whatever reason and our relationship with the Lord is affected negatively because our perspective is altered.
You need God and you need people. If you are lonely don’t wallow. Fight back against the fear. Loneliness should only push you further into the arms of the Lord and deeper into community with His people.
You can read more here for Verses for the Lonely and Forgotten.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 61:2 which says: “from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,” Overwhelm, burnout and the life find us all. We’re so prone to try and do everything all on our own. We try to face every challenge and every obstacle on our own.
We think of God when we’re in over our heads or just completely spent. Even then, when lifeand chaos are raging all around us, He reminds us that there is a rock that is visible even in the midst of crazy that we can look to for help. He is our tower and refuge. A high place that is always visible and within reach.
If you are feeling overwhelmed remember that God cares about us and every aspect of our lives. He wants to carry our burdens and make impossible things happen within our lives.
For more, you should read this post for Verses to Soothe an Overwhelmed Heart or this post called Verses for Burnout, Overwhelm and Stress.
I hope this has shed some light on some of those pesky things that we allow to consume our thoughts and lives. God wants us to live completely free. These things will pop up throughout our whole lives but lets not accept them as the norm or as something we have to take and keep and live with. Lets live free.
Please share this with your friends and family so that we can shed that light a little further and see more break free and live abundantly.
Make sure that you guys are a part of our growing community. I send out encouragement as well as updates and special offers and freebies to my Living For Love VIP Club members weekly!!(:
Thank you guys for reading! Make sure you check out the other posts I linked above. Most of those posts are packed full of scripture to help you as you overcome these things.
See ya soon,