“Trouble makers start fights, gossip breaks up friendships.” Proverbs 16:28
I am a rule follower. One problem of being a rule follower, is that you carry the burden of enforcing rules to those who don’t follow rules. So I become judgmental and condescending over those who seem to live a life of blissful ignorance. My heart hardens. Though, the truth is, I have too much time on my hands. The enemy uses this idleness and destroys things around me.
The subject of bad neighbors came up at work. Co-workers talked about some serious matters with their neighbors. I cringed at their stories. Then I told them about a neighbor (on a another street) still having their Christmas lights up and how ridiculous it is since we are in March. My co-worker (who doesn’t hold back) said, “Are you kidding me? You reported that?” I explained that the board members don’t always get around to canvassing the neighborhood, so I look around for them. If looks could kill, she was not impressed. She asked, “does it really bother you?” I said, “no, not really. It is actually kind of funny.” She said, “unless they are breaking the law, leave them alone. You sound like some of the women in my neighborhood that have nothing better to do.” Ouch.
I admit it, I sounded like those nosy, grumpy neighbors. In my neighborhood, people talk to me about their neighbors in the same way. It is draining and obnoxious to hear their stories because they were insignificant issues. Sometimes, while I was walking my dog, I would try to walk the other way when I would see one coming my way. So, if my co-worker could hear that tone in me, then I was one of those people I was trying to avoid.
The times in my life where I was most unhappy or anxious, is when I had nothing much to do. If I had too much time on my hands, I wouldn’t use it to better myself, I would analyze my health to the point of being a hypochondriac or look at my neighborhood and complain about everyone and everything in it. Overthinking turned into confusion and unhappiness.
Even my therapist said she noticed that if I found better things to do with my time, I wouldn’t have time to be anxious.” I knew she wasn’t discounting the anxiety I have dealt with, but she saw that much of what I worried about was not worth worrying about. She saw I wasn’t busy enough. Being constructive of one’s time is the goal, not having a full schedule from beginning of the day to the end.
Lesson Learned: Don’t let the enemy use your precious time in the day to further his agenda. Use it to further God’s agenda.
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for causing drama and problems. Show me how to decipher where to put my thoughts. Help me advance your Kingdom, not squash it. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”