Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

More Jesus; Less Fretting and Fuming

22 Comments

fret 2Recently I came across six towels stained by bleach in the course of one week. When I saw that 6th towel, I had a choice: I could blow a fuse, or just let it go.  Now, usually I would opt for blowing a fuse. I would fret and fume. That’s what I’d already been doing for a week.

Visitors to Turkey rented our home while we were gone this summer. On our return, we found encouraging notes all over the house, a thoughtful letter apologizing for things they’d damaged, and $50 to pay for replacements. Initially I was won over by the sweetness of these visitors, but as I came across each damaged item, my patience started wearing thin.

I started fretting and fuming.

Fret

Each day we find a million reasons to worry or complain. And when we continually give voice to fretting, it eats away at our insides and wears us down.

I want to be settled and centered on Christ rather than eaten up and worn down by worry, annoyance, and discontent.

I want more Jesus and less fretting.

So on the day I discovered that 6th towel, I made the decision to change my focus. Our house visitors had simply not known how to use a Turkish washing machine. It was NOT a big deal. Instead of ranting, I forced myself to sing a little worship song.

And you know what?

It worked.

The Holy Spirit came down.

I was able to let it go.

Philippians 4:6-8 offers some clear instructions on how to get more of Jesus inside of us:

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.

Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.

It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (The Message)

Let it Go

Pauls says, “DON’T fret or worry.”  Period. (If only living this verse were as easy as reading it.) Letting things go starts with a decision to repent and change our focus.

Pray Instead

I love the idea of shaping our worries into prayers. Wouldn’t our prayer lives grow exponentially if we turned each anxious thought into a prayer?

Praise Instead

Praise gets more of God into our hearts. It takes our focus off of ourselves and our worries, and onto God.

Give Thanks

The New Living Translation says it this way, “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (v. 6) It sounds simple, yet we often zero in on our needs without thanking God for what he’s already done.

Settle and Center Yourself on Christ

I want Jesus at the center of my thoughts. More Jesus; less fretting. Even while I was writing this post, a family problem came up, and I started to WORRY! So I eeked out a prayer, “Lord, you’re in control. I choose to trust you.” It was all I could manage, but it changed my mental landscape.

I want to be proactive about replacing useless thoughts with positive prayer, praise, thanks, and a commitment to return to Christ every time I find myself fretting. I need more Jesus.

What about you? Anyone else out there tend to fume and fret?

Linking up with Holly Barrett and Meredith Bernarad. (Check out their blogs for more encouragement!)
Holly Barrett

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

22 thoughts on “More Jesus; Less Fretting and Fuming

  1. Oh yes, I’m an expert at fretting! God’s been teaching me the same lesson lately. The other night I lay awake worrying about many things. I realized I could pray instead, so I did. It made a huge difference, and totally changed my focus! Thanks for this great post!

  2. Another lovely post, Betsy! When I find myself overwhelmed with too many things to fret and fume about, I say a little prayer I made up: “Lord, I offer you all my worries, cares and anxieties. Take them from me, and replace them instead with your peace and your love.” It never fails to fill me with serenity and calmness so I can change my focus, trusting God to take care of all the problems for me.

  3. Great post! It does make all the difference when we can let go of our stresses and worries and trust that God’s in control. I wonder how many items of clothing your renters must have ruined of their own in the wash?

  4. I want more Jesus too! Great reminder of how we can choose to respond and how we can allow the Holy Spirit to work in us in our most stressful moments. Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

  5. Funny to read this just now as I spent much of my night sleepless from worry. I am so grateful to have read Philippians 4:8 in The Message. Today I am intentionally going to displace worry & focus on Christ. Blessings!

  6. YES! More of Him, less of what we see in front of us. Faith eyes 🙂 Had to kneel down just a bit ago and ask for forgiveness for not fully trusting Him. Thanks for this!

  7. I just left the country of Estonia where we were missionary furlough replacements for eight weeks. We stayed in the missionary’s lovely home and the first day a large mirror fell in the bathroom and shattered into a hundred pieces. 😦 A couple of other incidental things happened while we were there and I fretted and worried the entire time! But I know this precious lady, she is gracious, hospitable and above all, forgiving. Thankfully! This was a great post on so many levels. Let Go, Let God. Blessings!

    • Thanks for sharing the other side, Nannette! I found a lot of things broken actually, but I could see by my visitors’ notes and effort to leave some money that they were doing their best to be gracious!

  8. Oh, I’m a fretter, all right! I also love Ephesians 4:6-8–it’s gotten me through many a panicked moment. Thank you for sharing your story and application of the verses–I really needed to hear that today!

  9. Oh, yes, Betsy, I struggle with fretting and fuming multiple times a DAY! Even this morning…and then found myself apologizing to my son while doing our homeschool lesson. God always has a way of bringing it to light, I just wish I could start getting it right to begin with. Thank you or these reminders today and for linking up your encouragement with us all. 😉 Blessings! -Meredith

  10. I so need this. I am not a very patient person and I definitely have some prayers I’d like God to answer NOW. And things ell pop up during the day that make me want those prayers answered even sooner than now, if that were even possible. I’m going to use this and be thankful and praise God. Thank you for such wisdom.

  11. Betsy, God has been teaching me this very thing. Focusing on Him and giving Him praise and thanks moves me from focusing on the negative stuff in my life to appreciating the many blessings He has graced us with. It’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong in life. Thanks for the reminder and suggestions!

  12. My kids have been sick over the last few weeks and I’ll admit to fretting. I’ve seen the worst that can happen and being the doctor as well as mother I can let my thoughts of worse case possibilities run away with me. Also with college costs and adoption costs rapidly approaching I can easily fret about $$, forgetting that it all belongs to God and He has more than enough for my needs.

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