Maintaining Emotional Perspective Through Prioritizing

fajnn4bsazs-nino-ubezioLast semester, I spent a good forty minutes each day listening to someone tell me all about their friend drama. My response was always the same: Sounds like you need different friends.

Now granted, I was speaking to a teen, but sometimes when I scroll through Facebook, I realize some of us adults are in those same cycles. To whom I’d say, “It sounds like, perhaps, you need different friends.”

Or at the very least, to decline their drama-party invitation.

But what about when, for whatever reason, you get sucked in? Then, to borrow some of girl-835020_1920Taylor Swift’s lyrics, you’ve got to shake-shake-shake, shake it off.

And now that that melody is running relentlessly through your head …

Consider what Paul has to say in Philippians 1:10 “For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return” (NLT). Further on in the same chapter, he says, “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (1:27 NLT).

Whenever I read that, I can’t help but think of all the times when our family’s been on vacation. We might encounter a wobbly hotel end table, a rude hotel staff member, or the most forgetful waitress in all of food service history. And yet, none of those things have the capacity to ruin our vacation (unless we let them) because we’re only passing through. It’s not our home, and, well, those encounters don’t really matter–they’re not why we went on vacation. Rather, we left home to simply get away and bond and reconnect as a family.

And if we let the wobbly end tables or poor service distract us, we risk losing the treasure family-1599825_1920of it all–time with each other.

How often do we allow the little things, the less-important things, like how the cashier responded to our hello, or maybe how a coworker treated us, overshadow the blessings God wants to sprinkle in to our day? How often do we let other’s actions control our emotions, thus giving them power over us?

When nine times out of ten their issue is just that–their issue.

As my husband would say, “Don’t own that monkey.”

Set it down, turn it around, and let it climb right back onto the other person’s shoulders, where it belongs. You’ll be much happier and much better able to focus on whatever it is God is calling you to do.

What about you? What do you think of when you read those verses from Paul? How might viewing our world and interactions through an eternal perspective change our responses? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.

About Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery is a writer, speaker, and ministry leader who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of twelve contemporary novels and one of the hosts of the Faith Over Fear podcast. She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at or follow her on Twitter at @JenSlattery.
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