“I’m working in healthcare right now and people can be very mean and hateful.”

“I’m frustrated with my church.”

“My friend will not stop lashing out at me with her opinions because she doesn’t think I should be homeschooling.”

“After losing a loved one to COVID, I think she feels hurt personally that they’re not wearing masks. As if they don’t see what she has been through.”

“They decided not to get vaccinated and now I don’t know what to do. I’m so upset. I thought we were on the same page.”

“She said if we weren’t going to church but going to the grocery store right now we were telling our kids what’s really important. But people wear masks at the grocery store!”

Want to take a wild guess what all these statements have in common?

I received each of them. This week.

Welcome to the year of our Lord 2021. Where we are all stuck in a continual wheel of Catch-22s. We are hurting. We are tired. We are tense. And we are contentious

We cannot hold opinions that will satisfy everyone. 

Politics. Masks. Vaccines. Isolation and integration. 

Can somebody make the train stop… we all want to get off, right?

In his recent book, Get Your Life Back, John Eldredge offers practical tips for re-centering ourselves in Christ. With the constant barrage of notifications, social media and news flashes, combined with the ‘contentiousness’ of the hour we’re living in, I think these practices are NEEDED and worth exploring.

One helpful practice: a simple one minute pause. In those sixty seconds, we pray “Jesus, I give everyone and everything to you.” We continue praying until we feel we are truly giving things to God. We can name specific things, situations we are frustrated about, people we are worried about. 

In our cars, in our kitchens, in our own hearts, anywhere, we can re-center ourselves. 

This is a practice of benevolent detachment. We love. We care. But we cannot carry these burdens on our shoulders. We remind ourselves:

There is a God. He sees. We are all in His capable hands.

Along with reading Get Your Life Back and practicing the One-Minute Pause (there’s an app!) I’d like to add just a few recommendations that might help smooth out rough paths as you continue walking forward in these days of great turmoil.

I. Carefully consider whether your opinion is wanted in a particular situation.

This requires a great deal of humility. We highly value our own opinions because, well, they’re ours. But if they are not asked for, they sometimes do more harm than good. 

If you’re not sure, take a pause and check in with the Holy Spirit. Do you feel a sense of peace? Or do you feel like the words about to exit your mouth are “fighting words?” If your adrenaline is pumping and your blood pressure is racing, you are probably not speaking from a place of peace. 

Unless the building is on fire, maybe it’s not as urgent as it feels to speak up.

II. Practice Bringing People to Jesus.

We often have to remind ourselves that we cannot care about everything and everyone all the time. Only God can. Our world has just one Savior, and His Name is Jesus. 

When we find ourselves in a situation where everything in us is screaming because we do care, and because we want to express our opinion out of care, but we are not sure it is wanted, we would do well to give everyone and everything to Jesus. Wherever you are, you can change the posture of your heart to say, “Lord, I bring you the person right in front of me. I want them to know You more. I want them to hear from You.”

If someone is offering their opinion, and it is frustrating you, or even hurting you, remember that everyone is living in this tense moment. Everyone has experienced challenges of one kind or another during this pandemic. Before you respond to their opinions, reposition your heart. Try to bring yourself, and your friend, to Jesus.

III. Faithfulness Looks Different for Different People.

I’m quoting myself on this one: Your faithfulness and my faithfulness will sometimes look different. But that does not mean we are not both being faithful. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls.” {Rom. 14:4} 

As we continue to navigate the uncharted territory of 2021, we would do well to remember that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. We’re better off assuming everyone is doing the best they know how to do, than sitting in judgement over our brothers and sisters because we have different opinions and are making different choices.

Jesus invites us to walk through this life “freely and lightly.” {Matthew 11:30, The Message} We can only walk freely and lightly if we will lay the burdens we are carrying on His capable shoulders. 

So slow down today, friends. You are probably carrying a weight you don’t have to carry. Before you move on with your day, take a pause and ask what you need to lay down. 



Give everyone and everything to Jesus.

A Book Worth Your Time

If you are feeling overwhelmed by entertainment, dogged by your phone, or frazzled by a fast pace, I highly recommend John Eldredge’s book, Get Your Life Back. I’m only halfway through but am already experiencing the benefits of putting the practices he teaches to work. {You can click this (affiliate) link to find it on Amazon here.)


P.S. I’m still working behind the scenes on a fresh Bible Study for you! I’m excited to share more soon! Sign up for my weekly love note and you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready. Perhaps you could start thinking of a friend who could join you on the journey?

P.P.S. I’m so glad the recipe party/meal planner has been a blessing to so many of you! PLEASE tell a friend! And if you haven’t yet, click the link below to grab it for yourself!

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