Being trapped in small places is miserable to me. I wouldn’t say that I am claustrophobic. I just prefer and choose not to be in “tight” places. In the Back 9, at age 53, experience has taught me to think before I choose or wander into places that are small or crowded. I still have to travel on airplanes and sit in those small seats. I still enjoy going to a sporting event that draws a large crowd but I carefully think it through when I choose it…and pray as well! I prepare mentally…a positive self talk…knowing that it is my choice.
Several years ago I freed myself from one miserable self-evoked “small place,” I like to call it…”Fixing you!” It was “killing me!”
So this post may not apply to you…but if it does…the following words are in hopes of giving you “clean” air to breathe and “wide” open spaces in which to live!
NO matter what your intentions are, and I would like to think my motives were good ones, take my evaluated advice…
“The fixer always finds himself being misunderstood!” A fixer is someone who wants to help get things right. They see what they think is wrong and they want to “fix it!” Make it better.
If you are a “fixer,” like me, we have good intentions. After all, we’re doing it for their good, right? Yet we find ourselves in a place where our intent is judged wrongly and we certainly aren’t valued or appreciated. I have found, regardless of my motives, it can cause pain and invite a big risk of being misunderstood. So, what is the solution for a “fixer?” “Drop your hands!” and “Let go….”
Seriously. “Let go and let God!”
When we attempt to “fix” other people, often times we are interfering with God’s plan to work in their lives. Natural consequences are a “huge” teacher in God’s economy. The law of “reaping and sowing” is a valuable teacher and sometimes it is the only “effective” teacher that promotes lasting change. When we interfere…often times…we are preventing the “lesson.” We take on responsibility that is NOT OURS! It is God’s job.
So where does our focus need to be?
Jesus has to become the “center of our lives”. What HE is doing. Where HE is leading.
A STRONG WARNING HERE…..”When Jesus is not our focus, He is no longer our influence!” We are only in control of ourselves and there is always something we can work on in ourselves. After all, no one is responsible for our choices and behavior but us! If we put our attention on Jesus, His influence will better us. Our focus will then be off of things and people whom we are not in control of nor responsible for!
“Dropping your hands” means not being God in someone else’s life. Our call is to follow Jesus; live a life centered on Him, His direction and His work in our lives. I love what Dr. James B. Richards calls it, “YOKE UP!” Take up our “yoke” and follow Christ! This basically means putting ourselves in a position of “humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand and in due time He will lift us up, casting all our anxiety on Him because He cares for you!” (see I Peter 5:6-7).
Matthew 11:28-30 teaches that if we “yoke up” with Jesus…we will live in “wide open” spaces where it is easy to breathe and the load is light. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light!”
Redirecting our focus onto what God wants to do in our lives is a great thing. It turns us away from our focus on others and frees us from the “tight” places of distress of wanting to “fix” or “save” others. We can entrust those people “whom we deem need fixing” to a God that actually has the power to fix…all the while leaning into Jesus.
Take note here…God can call us to “mentor” and walk beside someone who asks…but often in relationships that are very close…the “pain” of watching a dilemma can make us jump in to “fix” when our role is to “step back!”
Understand, the “fixing may not look like we want it to look” nor “be in the timing we want it to be”…that is where we have to live Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your OWN UNDERSTANDING but IN ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him and He will make YOUR paths straight” [emphasis mine]. Do you see this? Take your eyes off of other people’s paths…their choices. Put your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of YOUR faith. Your yoke will immediately become “lighter”.
Let Jesus be your focus thus, He will be your influencer! Take into account that some valuable lessons cannot be learned if we run to “fix”…Catching someone is not always God’s provision….sometimes the “fall” is in His answer.