No Fret Strategies When Life’s UnfairBy
A friend, in his late fifties, lost his job after a successful lifetime career in education. He climbed the ranks from teaching to administration to leading special projects. Then there was a leadership change and because of some differences of opinion his position was phased out. He applied for other jobs in his field but without success. The unspoken response, “Too close to retirement.” But he wasn’t old enough nor did he want to retire. When I heard about it I thought, “That stinks! It’s just unfair.”
I spoke with him recently after church standing in the foyer. He said, “I followed every lead I could in education but hit dead ends. So I started looking in new directions.” He found a position pioneering a new church ministry helping underprivileged children with their education. He enthusiastically spoke about the impact it’s having on these kids.
In addition he’s teaching as an adjunct professor in education at a local university and enjoying the experience of raising-up a new generation of teachers. He truly has a gift for mentoring others and working with them one-on-one.
He laughed and said, “I’m not making as much as I did before but I’m enjoying what I’m doing more than ever. I wouldn’t want to be back in the politics I was involved in. I don’t miss that at all. What I’m doing now is so rewarding. Except for the money, which my wife would like to see, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.”
All of us have “unfair” things happen. We lose our career, spouse, life savings, health after working so hard doing the right things. We’re diligent then get blind-sided.
It’s easy to feel, “Why me? After all I’ve done I don’t deserve this.” And, yeah, you probably don’t. But fretting, complaining and thrashing around won’t change it. All that happens is it blows up into an emotional storm clouding your thinking and ruining your opportunities for success.
So what do you do when life implodes? How do you keep from losing it and going ballistic?
The bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:4, 7 NIV)
When life turns unfair, even when others have hurt you, he says “be still.” Quiet down so you can think. You need time to pray, listen and meditate. You’ve hit a road block. Don’t keep barreling through. Stop and spend some time away from all the distractions so you can clear your mind and God can speak to your heart. And when you do you’ll be amazed at the new ideas that will come. It can be an exciting time if you’ll use it for change.
Second, he says, “Wait patiently for God.” You need to trust God to act and to lead you. This doesn’t preclude you from doing what you can but it does mean to trust God has things still in control. Most major problems aren’t solved quickly. They take time and a lot of work. But if you trust God is leading you and will eventually work out the issues it will make a huge difference in your outlook.
Third, he says, “Delight yourself in the Lord.” Out of that faith put on joy. Act enthusiastic by faith in what God will do. Acting joyfully helps keep you calm and looking toward the answers. And that keeps you moving forward.
Fourth, stop fretting and complaining. Others don’t want to hear it and it won’t do you any good. Don’t focus on what others have that you’re missing. Your life is unique. He wants to guide you but as long as you are looking at others it’s hard to see his directions. So focus on his guidance and receiving the blessings he has planned for you.
And the result? “You will receive the desires of your heart.” This doesn’t say you’ll receive everything you want or ask for. But better you’ll receive what you desire deep inside. God made you special and has particular blessings just for you. You may not understand these today. But when you discover them you will have a joy and fulfillment so much greater.
Rick Warren writes: “Surrendering your life means -
- Following God’s lead without knowing where he’s sending you;
- Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come;
- Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide;
- Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances.”
Life is unfair at times. Yet God wants to turn that unfairness into the desires of your heart.
Where is life unfair right now? What are doing about it?
If this post has encouraged you please let me know. And please share it. Thanks. I appreciate it.
Douglas Armey, the LPL Financial adviser associated with this website, practices in Fresno, California and may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the following states: California, Idaho and Oregon.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance reference is historical and is no guarantee of future results.