Let go of what doesn’t serve you.
This advice has been floating around the zeitgeist for a bit now. And, while the message is a helpful one, it is also a bit sticky – difficult to separate the health it purports to cultivate and the hindrance it, unchecked, actually produces.
While unwanted emotions like stress, anxiety and overwhelm are often lauded of tale-tale signs that the current situation you are in is not the one that will foster health or propel you to the heights of your happiness & potential – could it be that those things mean the exact opposite?
Does it actually not serve you or just challenge you? How do you tell the difference?
When you feel friction, don’t assume something does not serve you. Things that do not serve you means it is something that does not provide room for growth or it is physically, mentally or emotionally harmful – not challenging – harmful. It is a detriment without a solution or a way out.
Sometimes situations, jobs even, are challenging to us – even to the point of not being as enjoyable as we wish we were – that does not mean it’s time to throw the whole thing away. That means it’s time to pray about & investigate the situation. Ask God if there is something He has there for you – and, if He does, He will give you the grace to stay.
Happiness is not always an indicator of whether or not the situation or space is for you. I know that’s a very counter-cultural statement, but I said what I had said. So there it is. You can be smack in the center of God’s will and not feel like it, at all. One quote that sticks with me is one that I hope you’ll remember, “God’s will is not sent to please you, it’s sent to move you.”
A scripture comes to mind that is probably the most misquoted of all time – one of em anyway. The infamous: I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.
What Paul is talkinbout is best explained if we look at verse 12 & 13 of Philippians 4:
I know what it means to lack,[a] and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.[b]
Whether you’re happy or sad, whether you’re full in your current state of things or you hunger for more, Christ’s power is enough to sustain you and make you content in the midst of it. Not rescue you from it when you want and not make it go away. But to give you strength right there where you are.
Friend, I don’t want you to miss out on major growth opportunities and the chance to see God show out in difficulty because you abandon your opportunity based on the feeling that something doesn’t serve you. Because, and here’s the gotcha that got me, everything is not meant to serve you.
Some seasons & situations in your life are there to move you into a position to serve God’s will and/or others. And, I offer to you, sometimes when we feel like life is doing us the least amount of service, God is doing His greatest amount of work, refining us and taking us into another level of maturity we would be incapable of reaching otherwise.
So, when you begin to feel as though something is not serving you and it’s time to say, “I’m out,” stop for a spell and thing, “is it “not serving me” or is it simply challenging me forward into God’s will for my life?”
Don’t abandon your chance to grow.
Here are a few ways you can filter what can help from what can hurt. This is a “tip of the iceberg” summation. What would you add?