I follow two practices that keep me out of trouble….emotional trouble. One, I wrote about yesterday…my practice of laying my troubles at the feet of Jesus.
When I find myself composing letters of complaint or comebacks to rude bill collectors or wanting to tell anyone who will listen how a loved one insulted me recently or how the tech support person at such and such cell phone company admitted to knowing nothing about the issue after 90 minutes of arguing with me….I take a deep breath and say, “Take it, Jesus.”
I give Jesus all of the niggling issues that irritate and anger me because if I am irritated, I am not present to assist the next person I meet.
But that is not all I put at Jesus’ feet. I also lay all of the compliments, the praise, the kudo’s, self-administered pats on the back for jobs well done, and any credit I get for meeting someone’s needs or expectations. I give it all to Jesus because all the praise and credit belongs to Him, anyway.
This may sound like false modesty but it is Gospel: any wisdom out of my mouth or off of my keyboard has come from Him. My ability to give, comes from Him.
I am more stable emotionally when I am not assessing how well I am doing. Several years ago, my son repeatedly pointed out to me that I was addicted to validation. He was spot on target. I would post a blog and spend the next 12 hours checking every 10-15 minutes to see if my post had been liked by anyone. I drove myself nuts.
Along similar lines, my second practice is to keep my eyes forward at all times. If I do something for someone, I say you’re welcomed if I am thanked and look for the next opportunity. If I wait to see if I am appreciated, I am lost in the validation addiction, again. Best to thank Jesus for the opportunity to help and move on. I keep my focus forward to the next need, the next want, the next wound or pain. If I make a mistake or cause harm, I apologize sincerely and make amends, if necessary, but the past is passed and I am on to the next challenge.
(Keep me busy, Jesus. Keep my mind off of my own hurts and focused on the needs of others. I owe you so much.)