Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:22
“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” ― Marcus Aurelius
Who occupies your thoughts and heart rent free? This is a big struggle of mine. Wondering what another thinks of me and sometimes it downright hurts! I look, compare and then obsess at the many blessings of others and come out wanting. — falling short, self-pity ad nauseum. Rumination over a hurtful statement, criticism, feeling left out happens more than I admit. I think expressive, impulsive Peter was guilty of this, especially when it came to John. Jealousy perhaps? Did he compare his relationship with Jesus to John’s? And look what a mighty ministry Peter had. We forget, just like Peter, that one person’s relationship and experiences with God are theirs. We can’t, shouldn’t and don’t know what God’s plan is for them. We’re not God. It’s God’s business and not my business. My experience and relationship with God is mine. There’s only one who deserves space in my head and heart. Time for an eviction.
Who can and should compare? Sometimes I do this with the Bible greats and come away with thoughts like: I’m no David, I’m no Ruth, I’m sure not Mary, the mother of Jesus. Instead of seeing how God did the magnificent things in these Bible great’s lives, I choose to feel inadequate and obsess on how great these people were. Wrong! God was great and “uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise.” He changes us. Transforms us. Big Hope for me. Follow him.
When I allow obsessions, people, gossip, insecurity, fear (like the news) into my mind, I’m allowing others to have power over me. I forget, frequently, that “It was for freedom that Christ set me free.” I am to follow Him. He is to take space in my heart and my mind. He empowers with humility. When I do this, joy and peace are mine and sometimes a thrill-ride! God surprises me every day. I know that cliché, if I don’t feel close to God, who moved? Is true. I’d like to add, who’s living rent-free in my heart and mind? Who am I allowing power over me? That gets to the heart of the matter.
Fill my heart and mind with you. Help me to keep my focus, center, thankfulness on you. There’s my business and none of my business. Thank you for filling me with your help and wisdom.