It is such a common trap – thinking about how someone else should be acting towards someone or something – trying to figure out what someone will think if a certain thing is said or a certain action occurs.
God, come close. Come quickly!
Open your ears—it’s my voice you’re hearing!
Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising;
my raised hands are my evening prayers.
Post a guard at my mouth, God,
set a watch at the door of my lips.
Don’t let me so much as dream of evil
or thoughtlessly fall into bad company.
And these people who only do wrong—
don’t let them lure me with their sweet talk!
May the Just One set me straight,
may the Kind One correct me,
Don’t let sin anoint my head.
I’m praying hard against their evil ways!
Psalm 141:1-7 The Message
It becomes so complicated – this thing called life – when we are trying to figure out other people’s reactions and then what our reaction should be. We are tempted to repeat the issue over and over again to others (getting conflicting advise) which causes it to become bigger and more distorted. We “fret” and cause ourselves anxiety about an issue that has increased in size as we smolder in it. But remember, Jesus commands us to actively stop the fretting and set the worry aside.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me” John 14:1
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 15:33
When in those situations – when we are being pulled toward worry, intrigue and judgment, it’s always good to remind ourselves of what we should be doing instead – loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13:4-8
If we pray and ask God into the situation – If we remember that we are to actively set aside our worry – If love never fails – Then these situations are simplified in our minds and our job is to do what is “right” and “good” in the moment we are in and let God handle the rest. We don’t need to revisit the situation or dwell on it or smolder in it or worry about tomorrow. GOD HAS IT! AMEN!!