Sometimes…It Don’t Matter

In parts of the South, “It don’t matter” is a popular phrase expressing the idea of “I don’t care, you decide”. You hear it quite often when people are discussing where to go out to eat, where to stop or where to go on a trip or what to wear. There is actually a restaurant in L.A. ( Lower Alabama) named “It Don’t Matter.” What a great idea for the name of a restaurant. I can imagine that this has prompted some interesting conversations like “Where do you want to go for lunch? … It don’t matter. No really, Where you want to eat?… It Don’t Matter! ”

The truth is there are a lot things that really don’t matter, it is not a right or a wrong, it’s just a matter of your personal preference. On the other hand, There are some decisions that it really does matter what you decide. Choices like where you live or what job or career you choose are very important. Big choices like these also can have far reaching consequences about your life way into the future.

Unfortunately, in our cynical culture today, we stress out about even little things and situations that really do not matter. We are conditioned to have unrealistic expectations about others and ourselves as well. Things like anger and rage show up in places like the check out line at the grocery store or at the drive thru. Instead of being thankful that we can buy food, we get upset that someone gets ahead us in line or Is too slow. We should not be so picky about unimportant things and lose our cool. There are times when I have been tempted to lose my cool but usually I am so slow, that by the time I get upset, it is already over with. We do not need to freak out about things that are small in comparison to bigger issues. Life does not have to be perfect to be good.

It is good for us to take it easy sometimes and learn to enjoy being human in an imperfect world, and even laugh at ourselves.

One time I asked a friend to help me set up some tables and chairs for a meeting at church. I said to brother Mike “ You can help me do this, it is simple, just a matter of mind over matter.” He replied,”Yes , I will help you Jerry Bear, in spite of the fact that with your mind… it doesn’t really matter.” Hmmm… There is some food for thought. I still laugh when I think about that because… it don’t matter.

How to get through Life’s Ups and Downs

Life is often like a merry-go-round with ups and downs, which is okay for awhile. It can become exhausting and difficult to cope when it is going on day after day for an extended period of time. Here are some encouraging things to think about when dealing multiple issues and concerns instead of worrying about them…

“Give your burdens to The Lord, and He will take care of you.” – Psalm 55:22 (NLT)

“Don’t measure the size of the mountain; talk to the One who can move it. Instead of carrying the world on your shoulders, talk to the One who holds the universe on His, Hope is a look away.” – Max Lucado

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” – Psalm 68:19

I have known for years that “we need to give our burdens to the Lord”, but I have also learned to make it a regular habit, doing it sometimes several times during the day. We are not designed to carry heavy burdens of worries and concerns over a long periods of time. That isn’t healthy for us…it wears us down emotionally and spiritually and can eventually have a negative effect on us physically. It robs us of our joy and puts us in a depressing mood. It can debilitate us and prevent us from doing the things we need and want to do because we don’t feel like doing it.

Here are some suggestions that have worked for me:

1. Realize God is bigger than any problem we face in life. Sometimes we think we shouldn’t trouble God with our troubles. The opposite is actually true. He wants us to look to Him for guidance, peace,and strength. We are only hurting ourselves by not turning to Him in times of need.

2. Release your burden to God in prayer. You can do this by talking to God praying by yourself, or have a trusted friend, family member, or pastor, to pray with you. There is such a relief when we get it out and deal with something that is worrying us. Check out the Psalms in the Bible, in particular these Psalms: 34, 37, 40, 121. Stop and reflect on what these and other Scriptures teach us about God’s love and care for us.

3. Do what you can realistically about the problem. Sometimes, lack of true information drives our fears and make our perception of a problem much bigger than it actually is in reality. Get some good information and advice. This helps us in finding out what to do next, one step at a time.

4. When doubts and fears return, erase them quickly by again releasing them to God in prayer. As you do this, thank God for His power and presence. Pray for others, don’t review your worries over and over again. Instead stay focused on what you can do today… as you deal with ups and downs that come your way.

Helping Others without Hurting Yourself

Have you ever got too close to a cactus or rose bush? It can be hurtful if you are not careful. Sometimes trying to help a friend or someone else can get sticky too. Especially, if they are feeling overwhelmed. It is important to stay calm. Resist the temptation to rush into trying to solve their situation without getting the facts. Take time to listen before you respond.

Keep in mind, that you do not have all the pieces to the puzzle in someone else’s life or the difficult situation they are facing. The truth is, we don’t even have the perfect capacity to be the answer to every problem we face ourselves; so how can we realistically expect to be and do that for someone else?

Your role should be to do what they can’t do, if you can…but you should not do for them what they can do for themselves. Avoid the trap of Enmeshment, where you become so emotionally attached and involved in their issues to the point that is unhealthy. That is when you find yourself constantly basing your happiness and well being to how they are doing. If they are up, you are up. If they are down, you are down. It can get to the point that you can’t enjoy anything or function very well yourself…because of their difficulties. There is also an inherent danger in these co-dependent type of relationships. That is when you become an enabler for their continued problems and in the long term you end up hurting yourself by trying to help them.

Be a catalyst and connector to help them identify some good options for their particular need. Maybe, suggest connecting them to someone you that you know has been through something similar or someone who has more expertise in these issues they are dealing with in their life. This helps them to take responsibility for their actions and reactions in learning how to cope in a positive way. We also need and seek God’s help in helping others. After all… God who created them, knows all about them. God loves them and He should be involved in our process of helping them. Pray for His wisdom in your conversations with this person. Pray specifically for discernment in what to say or not to say to them. Pray consistently for guidance in what to do and not to do in trying to help them. Also, pray for grace as you attempt to help them. This will help you as you help them… without harming yourself.