Being an Overachiever Day 4: Learning to Let Go
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. (James 5:13; ESV)
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (Proverbs 30:5, ESV)
This is the topic in our study I struggle writing about the most because I’m not even good at doing this in my own life. I tend to hold onto things too tightly and fail to trust those around me—sometimes even God—with situations in my life. It leaves me feeling overwhelmed and stressed, because I’m only human; I can’t solve everything, and I definitely don’t have all the answers. Learning to let go is ultimately about having faith in our Heavenly Father. It is so comforting to know that we can bring any burden before Him—nothing is ever too big for Him or catches Him off guard. He knows all, sees all, and understands each one of us.
I think it’s important to establish how to know when we should let something go. Although it is good that we can be involved in different projects at work, school, and our local church, it is also good for us to be aware when we may be involved in too many things for our own good. Our bodies do an amazing job of letting us know we might be too involved. I find that when I overextend myself I get irritable, my head starts hurting, and I end each day absolutely exhausted. We can become obsessed with a project; we think about it as we fall asleep, it’s the first thought when we wake up, and it consumes our mind throughout the day. These are some red flags that indicate you may need to take a step back and recharge.
You’re probably wondering—alright, so I know the red flags to look for, but how do I actually let things go? For me, it can sometimes take a couple of tries before I find success. I decide I need to set something aside, and a few weeks later, I’m trying to pick it back up again. The first step is to be honest with the Lord. He knows when we are bogged down with whatever we are working on, and being honest with Him further enriches our relationship. James 5:13 lays this truth out so clearly: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” Just voicing our stress to Him lifts such a burden off our shoulders. We can also pray that He would make us aware if we are becoming too involved in something that might take us away from time with Him and His people.
Another way to learn how to let go is by spending time in His Word and in prayer, building up our relationship with the Lord. This is the most important relationship in our life and, sadly, one that is often overlooked. Reading His Word also strengthens our faith—we read of miracles, we learn more about His character, and it further solidifies our trust in Him. I love the reminder in Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” He can handle anything we bring before Him. He hears and understands our needs, and will lead us in the right direction when we need to walk away from something.
Learning to let go doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process, especially for those who struggle with being a perfectionist. I have to remind myself to keep an eternal perspective and to remember that when I get to Heaven, I won’t be wishing I had spent more time on a work project. The only regret I will have is not giving Him more. I pray that this will help you remember to live in light of eternity. None of us knows if today will be our last, or when the Lord will return to call the redeemed home to Heaven. Our window of time here on earth is limited, so let’s keep our minds and priorities focused on serving Him and bringing Him glory and honor.