What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?
In thinking about today’s prompt, I don’t know that I can come up with anything that my life doesn’t need. This summer, I went through all of my belongings and eliminated a lot of the things I didn’t need since I was moving to England, and couldn’t take it with me. Are we looking for material things in my life I don’t need? Maybe the fact that I can’t come up with anything means that I am content with what I have. Are we looking for emotional things we don’t need? Maybe I’m more satisfied than I give myself credit for.
I did eventually come up with eleven things that my life doesn’t need. I realised that most of them are related to Christian characteristics that I should be and am working on. Practically, I know I can’t get rid of these things on my own without having another behaviour to replace them with. Some of them I know what I need to do, and others I’m struggling trying to figure it out.
- Worry – “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)
- Too much emotion – This year especially I’ve been too emotional at times. It’s usually when I don’t need to be emotional (like when things don’t go the way I plan them to go).
- A need for perfection – I need to realise I’m not in control. Things won’t always go my way no matter how hard I try. It’s liberating to realise that God does whatever will bring glory to Him, and not me. “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” Psalm 115:3 (NIV)
- Lots of ‘stuff’ – “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” 1 Peter 2:11-12 (The Message)
- A car – I had a car when I lived in the US. Now that we’re in England, we haven’t had a car. In some ways, it makes life simpler to not have a car. It’s less expensive (especially since a tank of petrol costs £50… or more), and I can honestly say that I get places faster by cycling sometimes.
- Caffeine addiction – I’ve gotten rid of my caffeine addiction, however I still love my coffee. I wouldn’t mind not having any caffeine in my diet because I feel so much better when I don’t have it. I especially feel better without coffee because it will mess with my blood sugar.
- Complaints – I complain when things aren’t going so well. I should take my lesson from the Israelites when they complained in the desert. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.'” Philippians 2:14-15 (NIV)
- Discontentment – This goes a bit with complaining. If I’m complaining I’m not content. I know I need to be content with what the Lord has given me.
- Selfishness – Too often I tend to put my needs above the needs of others. Honestly, I find no reward in that. It’s more rewarding to think of the needs of others before my own. I desire to love, and in order to do that, I can’t put myself first. “[Love] isn’t always ‘me first.'” 1 Corinthians 13:4 (The Message)
- Lack of trust – Hmm… I always seem to struggle with this one. It’s a lesson I’ll always be learning and something I’ll always be trying to get rid of. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message) Sometimes this translation says it so well!
- Procrastination – Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, right? I think fear along with laziness come into play when I procrastinate. I’d like to be more proactive in 2011. Acting on my words rather than putting it off can bring glory to God, which is what I desire. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)