Don't Worry About Them

With so much going on in the world today, and especially with the election drawing so close, our attention is drawn to thousands of issues. We worry, we stew, we wring our hands. We shake our fingers at the unkind, the vengeful, the violent. We say bad things about this one or that one, particularly in the political circles. That politician is bad. That political party is radical and hateful. Those people are intolerant, lying, morally corrupt.
We spend a great deal of time judging and condemning. We expend so much energy it amazes me we have any strength to do anything else.  

We don't seem to learn. God said "Do not judge or you shall be judged." Yet, we do, over and over. What if we spent that energy fixing us? What if we didn't worry about what that politician, or that group was doing, and worked on our flaws? Of course we need to be vigilant against injustices and be active in our political procedures as responsible citizens, but what if we didn't worry so much about how the other guy needs to change?

It is a fact that sensationalism sells. The more spectacular the story, the more base the action, the more we pay attention. In some ways our social media and news programs have become glitzy gossip channels. The accusations fly before the truth is uncovered. We have become a society of tolerant intolerance.

I fell into this trap this past week on both the personal and national front. I got caught up in the media feeding frenzy and in a smaller dynamic at work. God has again stepped in and straightened out my thoughts and consequently my behavior. He basically told me not to worry about Them. I need to worry about me.

Am I being kind, thoughtful, and tolerant toward those different from me? Do I respect another's opinion even though I disagree?

It boils down to something very simple: I have no influence over anyone but myself. I can not control anything but my own reactions. I cannot force someone to change their mind or behavior. But, I can change  mine.  I would have far less stress and frustration if I quit worrying so much about others.

This also includes good as well as bad. I need to stop comparing others to myself. Period. I am not the yardstick by which all things are measured. God is, particularly in His humanity, Jesus. I need to keep my eyes on Him and not worry about what others are doing, unless they are hurting themselves or someone else.

I need to pray more and judge less. I need to listen more and talk less. I need to stop believing I am in the right, and they are in the wrong. I need to stop needing to be right. I need to rely more on God's judgement. I need to trust Him to fix those who need to be fixed, including me. I need to put more energy into being in union with Him.

The end result will be a person who is joyful regardless of her circumstances. A person with more energy to enjoy the good things in the world, in others and in herself. That new person will be much, much happier and less stressed. Why is it so hard to become that person?


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