3 Curses of Caring Too Much

Care too muchIt’s true that caring about others is a virtue.  It’s also true that apathy drains life of meaning, vibrancy, and the potential healing of others…(not to mention oneself).

But true God-given compassion and the kind of care that so many practice and are imprisoned by are polar opposites.

Cares That Are A Curse

1.  When we care too much about the opinions of others

The key words here are “too much.”  When a person has a healthy kind of respect for how others respond to us, it’s a good thing.  So, how can you tell the difference?  By the way it makes you feel.  If it’s healthy, it registers in our emotions as peaceful respect for the opinions of others.  Healthy care is a safeguard against haughtiness and self centered pride.

However, if you feel worried that you’ll be rejected by others it’s unhealthy.  If you try to mold what you do and say into what you think is acceptable to others, it’s unhealthy.  

Admittedly, many people that don’t care enough and claim that they’re “just keepin’ it real” with their “in your face” brutish attitudes need to learn how to speak their minds with more grace.  In my experience, “speaking one’s mind” is best saved for “after a cool-down” period.  The thing about the “cool-down” period is that it puts stuff in true perspective.  Rule:  Never trust reactionary emotions.  The more heated the feeling, the more need to “zip it.”

Another important discovery I made when I lived under the “caring too much what others think” curse was the realization that most people I was worried about pleasing didn’t really care that much one way or the other. 

2. When we care too much about our regrets over past “mess ups”

I think this affects parents more than most other people.  Maybe I say that because I’m very familiar with this particular curse.

I was just talking with a lady in a half-way house program that mourns over “what could have been” for her daughter if she hadn’t made such self-centered, life-altering destructive decisions.

The truth is that she’s in a very good place now, making excellent decisions, and setting herself up to take advantage of excellent opportunities that God can bring her way.

Focusing on past failures is destructive and will cause you to walk right past present opportunities.  There are faith building things to remember, but there are also many things we must “put under our feet.”

It’s a lie to believe that if you stop caring about the past failures that you don’t care enough about the people that were effected. 

Allow yourself to only think about the God who is the “Restorer.”  The Bible is over-full with examples of how He can make all things new.

Some need to let go of the fantasy that things won’t be as they should be until everything is restored to our original desires.  That’s not true.  That’s why we have grace.

Grace takes the heart of what could have been (but was destroyed) and clothes it with something that’s even better.  How does He do that?  I dunno, specifically.  That’s a mystery found in grace, but it’s a God thing of the grandest order.

3.  When we care too much about what we don’t have

“You will NEVER have enough time, enough resources, or enough money to do the perfect thing.  But what’s truly amazing is what you can achieve without “enough” of these supposed requirements.  Sooner or later you will come to realize that it’s not what you are missing that counts; it’s what you do with what you have.”  – Marc Hack 

Instead of caring so much about what we don’t have enough of, it’s much more fruitful and joy producing to be consciously, consistently grateful for what we do (especially the little stuff.)

How Can I Tell The Difference Between “Caring Too Much” and Compassion?

As I stated earlier, it’s about inspecting the fruit.  In I Peter 5:7 (KJV) we find the counsel, “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.”

The word, “care” is used twice in the King James English translation.  But, they mean entirely different things.  Our “care” is best described as anxiety, worry, and fear.  God’s “care” is best described as the acts associated with love.

The fruit of caring too much that is a curse:  Fear, anxiety, worry about….just about everything.
The fruit of the God kind of caring:  Actions of compassion, honor, and respect for yourself and others.

Do you know what it is to care too much?  Have you solved it?  Are you in the process?  What have you discovered is helpful.  Please share your comments:

Gary

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The Technique of Quiet by Gary Ellis

“Everything is so busy, Lord.  How can I get quiet to hear your heart?”

That’s the question I was asking this morning.  I was struggling with a mental mountain of momentum. No worries, especially.  (Well, that’s not totally true.)  There always seem to be natural worries. But not the terror of impending disaster kind.  Just mental activity filled with positive plan making.  The “making a list and checking it twice” kind. <And, sometimes a renegade little fox of fretting>

Thing is…I need – want – “The Voice” of my Master and Friend ever present in all the stuff that makes up my days.  And, I’m aware of the great need for the solace of meditation, musing, pondering, quiet time…whatever each of us may label it.

So…

When the thought and heart desire is to “get quiet” when at the same time the mind has been active since…well, practically before my feet hit the floor out of bed….

In other words, when part of the mental activity is just another thought on top of thoughts which turns into the fretting feeling, “Lord, I need to get quiet.  How do I do that right now!?”

How do I accomplish that?  The quietness of heart and mind that can “hear.”

  1. Recognize that when the desire becomes fretting, it’s become a “law” of sorts.  It’s very much akin to the question, “What right things do I perform in hopes of getting Him to respond to me?”
  2. It’s realizing that stressing at a time like this indicates there’s whispers of accusation in the background that are saying, “You haven’t read enough of your bible. You haven’t prayed in the spirit enough.  You haven’t…haven’t…haven’t…”  Those whispers of condemnation never surface from the voice of Grace.
  3. It’s trashing natural “technique” as a way to garner favor.
  4. It’s settling into the conscious sensing of God’s presence around you.  Not with your head, but simply acknowledging the reality of that regardless of the persistent mental momentum of the moment.
  5. It’s doing what I’m doing right now.  Writing about it, my heart, my desires.  Affirming His love in words typed from my heart through my finger tips onto the monitor in front of me.

So, maybe quietness of mind is sort of a technique…but not.  When the thoughts of need for His presence are accompanied by a sense of guilt or displeasure…know that even the heart of meditation and communication with the Lord is FROM Grace…not For Grace!

Any thoughts? Thanks for your comments.  And, if you haven’t already, and if my articles help you in any way, please subscribe.

Gary

How To Under-Whelm Yourself (1)

The feelings of being overwhelmed run rampant during this Thanksgiving to Christmas time period.  Many live with the emotion of being overwhelmed a good part of their lives.  So, can something be done about it?  Can we
“under-whelm” ourselves?

I’m going to share some bite sized solutions for the next several posts.  Applied, these authentic keys will unlock greater levels of peace this season…and hopefully, forever.

Worry and Anxiety Suck As Sheilds

Worry and anxiety are two of the chief ingredients in the art of “overwhelmedness.”  <I love made up words.> There is really only one reason they have that status of importance in our thinking/believing.  We believe that worrying about something will protect us from impending disaster.

I don’t know about you, but they have never…I mean NEVER…performed as promised for me.  Instead, worry and anxiety have robbed me of sleep, solutions, and solace.

All inner concerns are not bad.  There is an unsettled feeling that can have positive effects.  Sometimes we need to make a decision about something and we’ve procrastinated.  The uneasiness that we may feel, at those times, may be justified…if it motivates us to a positive action. However, lack of inner ease is not what I’m talking about and we both know it.

As long as you or I attribute positive characteristics to worry and anxiety…as long as we justify it’s personal existence in our space…we are destined to “enjoy” being overwhelmed.  But the fact is…worry is faith in reverse.  Faith always works.  Worry always works…but not for our good.

Here’s the kicker.  Worry and anxiety usually spring out of things (multiple things) that all seem reasonable and logical and that all seem to “hit” at the same time.  If they didn’t seem justified, you wouldn’t bite the bait.

Consider the word of the Lord in Philippians 4…

“Don’t be anxious about anything…”

That’s God speaking.  He must know what He’s talking about.  So, stop believing that a good worry will protect you from anything at any time.

That – by itself – will take you a long way to Under-Whelmedville.   Pull the plug and let worry and anxiety swirl down the drain.  That’s where they belong.  In the sewer with the rest of the rats.

To Be Continued…

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Worry – The Overrated Luxury

It ain’t worth it.  It’s overrated.  Worry is a very popular sport, but it’s never really been beneficial to anybody, anywhere, EVER!  In fact…

…the exact opposite is true.  It has been medically proven to contribute to many physical ailments.  It puts the potential of discovering creative solutions to the problems we face in a cruel, unrepentant, dank, dark torture chamber.  And, on top of it all, it holds faith captive, and deafens the voice of God, within.

The Bible actually addresses the subject of worry (and it’s marauding family of masqueraders) repeatedly.  By the way…I called them a family of masqueraders because the imps pass themselves off as common sense, rationality, and many other good sounding attributes.

A better solution: Make your mind stuff itself on a buffet of God’s words regarding worry, fretting, and the like.

  • Matthew 6:25-34
  • Philippians 4:6

Here’s a quote I’d like to share with you from a book called, “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews that I believe you’ll think on for a long time:

“Take a deep breath.  If you can breathe you are still alive.
If you are alive, then you are still here.
If you are still here, then you have not completed
what you were put here on earth to do.
If you have not completed what you were put here on earth to do,
that means your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled.
If your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled,
Then the most important part of your life has not yet been lived.
If the most important part of your life has not yet been lived…
If the most important part of your life is yet ahead of you,
Then during the worst times, you can be assured that there is yet
more laughter ahead, more success to yet look forward to, more
children to teach and help, more friends to touch and influence.

Why worry when you can wait on the Lord and renew your strength.  Why worry when you can be like King David of the Old Testament (at one of the worst points of his life) and spend your time encouraging yourself in the Lord your God.

Gary

If you find this helpful, join in the conversation and encourage one of the readers with your testimony of how you waited on God and discovered Him faithful as always.  Just select “Comment.”   If you haven’t Subscribed by RSS or email, please do so.  I’d love to encourage you in the Lord with new blog posts from my experiences of life.