Don't Sweat the Small Stuff — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff — Morning Devotions

'Don't sweat the small stuff' - you may have heard of this line somewhere. But I wonder how truly we follow it. Realising what is important, and what isn't.

By Chris WittsThursday 18 Aug 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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A book came out some years ago called “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, written by Dr Richard Carlson. I haven’t read it, but I think a lot of people have, and the basis of the book is that we can ruin our lives by worrying and fretting over small things over which we usually have no control, and, don’t amount usually to much anyway. That sound familiar to you. It does to me.

So if we shouldn’t worry over the small stuff, what should we worry over? What about the big stuff? A lot of big things are happening in our world today that we ought to be concerned about. And Dr Carlson says in this book, often we allow ourselves to get all worked up about things that, upon closer examination, are not really that big of a deal,

We may focus on the little problems and concerns and blow them way out of proportion. A stranger, for example, might cut in front of us in traffic. And rather than let it go and get on with our day, we’ve convinced ourselves that we are justified in our anger. Another way of saying that I guess would be – “don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.” This saying “don’t sweat the small stuff.

Where your heart is, there will be your actions

It implores us to let go of the little things. There are bigger things that are worth our energy. But if we get fixated on the small stuff, we’re always going to have those days. You know, when we spill the coffee or we think our friends are ignoring us or when we misplace our keys. I mean, we’re humans. It’s natural to make mistakes, and our tempers are often so short that we lose patience so easily.

But our culture holds up so much stuff and says to us, if only you had this, then you’d finally be happy and then others would finally look at you and feel envy. There are so many little things that can divert our attention from the bigger, more important issues of life. Slow service at a fast food restaurant, listening to criticism that’s unjustified from someone who’s uninformed, or waiting forever in line at the grocery store. Don’t let yourself get overwrought with the mundane issues of life. Rethink what you’re doing, practise patience, live in the moment and accept the imperfection of others. Manage your stress. Mind your own business. Why not get your life into perspective? There’s an old saying that “where your heart is, there will be your actions.” If our heart is with God, then we’ll follow him.

We will see God’s love in action around us if we’re in tune with him, and that will keep life in balance. I remember a time when people used to wear a wristband with the letters W.W.J.D. And those letters meant “what would Jesus do?” It was a daily reminder that in every conversation and action, he or she would ask, “Is this what Jesus would do?” So what’s the big picture here? We can learn to trust God, to live one day at a time, to prove our confidence in him by enjoying each moment of the day and not letting the concern of tomorrow interfere.

I love what Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 6:31-33. “Do not consume yourselves with questions. What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? Jesus said. Outsiders make themselves frantic over these questions. They don’t realise that your Heavenly Father knows exactly what you need. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And then all these things will be given to you as well.”

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The influence of the ‘small stuff’

Just because something is small doesn’t mean it’s insignificant. There is a lot of small stuff that has a great impact on how we live our lives, a brief prayer, a few minutes of reading your Bible and a small act of kindness. They’re not big things. And yet, if each of these is something we pay attention to, they can have a great impact on our lives and how we build our own character. And this means, I think, to be attentive to detail. But don’t worry over much about that which is spiritually insignificant. Ask God to show you what is significant and what is not significant.

Don’t sweat. The small stuff – don’t stress over the unimportant. The distractions of life can end up piling up. We lose our focus on the bigger picture. I think we must be intentional and stay focused on what truly matters. Don’t let the little difficulties of life distract you.

And if you have God in your life, you have no reason to worry. He will take care of you in the small stuff and the big stuff. But the point of this rule is to rightly prioritise what is important and avoid being motivated by fears, worries and sometimes your own imagination.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, today I’m guilty too, of sweating the small stuff – of letting the little petty annoyances get in the way. Teach me to realise what is important and what is less important. I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.