Lately I’ve been telling myself to care less. Care less about my grades, less about having a set routine, less about my makeup or outfit, less about pleasing others. It’s ironic that I’m trying to adapt my mindset to this way of thinking because I used to pray that God would soften my heart so I could care more. Yet this is different. This is caring less about the common worries of this world– I still strive to care more about people and their feelings. I strive to spend more time with God so I can be full of His love that needs to be poured out on others.
Where do you fall on the scale? Are you someone who can’t leave the house without wearing makeup or a decent outfit? Or maybe you feel the same physical pain that others vent to you about because you’re intensely empathetic. For me, and probably many others, I ride the spectrum of “I absolutely don’t care at all” to “Well I need to put on some makeup, it’s an important class”. Sometimes I don’t care if someone is in pain, I feel pity for a minute, or I can’t get their troubles off my mind.
As winter (hopefully) comes to an end, I am determined to care less and to love more. Heck– let’s start right now! Below, I listed my specific goals for this area of my life. Come on! Join my journey of improvement!
- Care less about what people think of my looks. Makeup, hair, and outfit. To do this, I will need to ensure my identity is in God and not in living up to the standards of society. I tend to feel small when I don’t wear makeup. Somewhere between cocky and self-conscious when I’m fully masked or even when I’m bare-faced. (Stay tuned to read a post about the line between pridefulness and self-consciousness!) My goal is to write a short verse (that reminds me of who I am in Christ) and put it somewhere I can read it often.
- Care less about my grades. Say what!? I have never understood people-pleasers until I met my favorite professors. I have high respect for a couple professors and I eagerly show my determination to those classes by my effort that isn’t as strong in other classes. I care most about what they’ll think of me if my grade is sub-par…I guess you could call me a professor-pleaser. My goal is to (once again, place my identity in the Most High, not in my academics) calculate how much time I spend doing homework for each class and how much time I spend doing other things– then I will move my time from a class assignment to a friend or resident. Caring less to love more. Passing over perfection.
- Care more about people. Not gonna lie, when I first wrote this I thought to myself, “Do I really want to though”? As you can see, this will be a challenge! I want to listen better when a resident, friend, coworker, or classmate is talking to me. I find that my residents tell me the small things throughout their day and I tend to nod and tune out, a day-dreamer in disguise. Simply listening better and intentionally following up will put my faith into practice by spreading God’s love, even in the mundane activity of smalltalk.
I challenge you to write a new verse on a notepad or journal, or even create a new wallpaper for your electronics, every week. Use your Sunday chair-time with Jesus and let Him speak to you. The key to this challenge is to actually read this verse daily or every time you look at it.
” But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
I challenge you to discern when enough is enough. Enough studying, enough sleepless nights reading, enough purposeful damage to our minds and bodies. Try giving yourself a time limit or even setting a timer with 15-minute breaks. Use this time to either fill yourself with the Word or to pour His love into others.
“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 3
I challenge you to listen better. Put down the pencil and show your full attention! Text back in a timely manner. Answer the call. Hold eye contact, nod, and keep the conversation on the other person. Yes, this is a toughy!
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19
I can’t emphasize enough that none of these things will come to us if we aren’t spending time with God. MAKE the time to read and reflect on His word. Send Him your prayers and wait patiently with a clear mind to hear that still, small voice. We must find out who He is before we can understand who we are in Him.