Too often in life we become overly concerned about a situation that we cannot affect the outcome of. You know what I mean! Your ideas and thoughts are much better that the route being taken, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.
I was grimacing one day about a change coming that no longer involved me, yet I had concerns. My dear friend held up three fingers and said, “Remember this?” The three fingers mean, “Not My Problem!” Wow, that was freeing to hear. Not My Problem…and I realized that no matter how I fretted, there was nothing I could do or say to change the decision that had been made.
Not My Problem. Interesting thought. And you know, my friend was absolutely right! It was most certainly not my problem. So freeing, so liberating, and so accurate. How many times do we “borrow trouble,” as my grandmother used to say. We get emotionally involved in situations that are outside of our sphere of influence. Yet when we know those involved and can see a train wreck on the horizon, we can’t help but be interested.
I am always open to listen when anyone has a problem, and when they need to vent or share. Sometimes it helps to have someone to talk to. I can always give ideas for possible solutions, but at the end of the day, I know the decisions that need to be made are not mine.
Sometimes when I fret over a situation, Neal will be the one to hold up three fingers! I am quickly reminded that it is Not My Problem. It is also freeing to hold up those three fingers to someone when they are trying to drag you into a conversation or situation where you don’t belong.
It is setting boundaries for ourselves, isn’t it? We can lose many nights of sleep worrying about things that we simply cannot change. We toss and turn, flip the pillow, and then ultimately wear ourselves out over a situation that is not ours. Truly, this stems from how deeply we care about these people.
But, remember the three fingers! Not My Problem. You will find a smile will be on your face, and you will sleep better knowing your limitations and involvement into a situation that’s not yours.
We are instructed in God’s Word to not worry, fret, nor be full of doubt & unbelief, etc. . But the Bible does give us instructions that there is something that we all can do…we can PRAY. It works as the greatest comfort & stress reliever when we pray in faith believing according to God’s Word…and it says in God’s Word that angels heed His Word…they are able to work on our behalf when God’s Word is declared rather than all the negative things that we are tempted to say and feel that are not full of faith.
I remember my precious Mama lifting her hands up towards Heaven and saying: Father, I am putting all of this in Your great big wonderful hands. Thank You for working it all out.” The hardest thing for her to leave in His hands, though, were we kids…she had to fight…to not take back…and not worry about…what she had just put into His hands concerning her children and grandchildren…but she knew that He cared even more than she and Daddy did about us so He was more than able to take care of whatever was concerning us…and to doubt that was to not trust Him so she worked at it. If I do say so myself, :o), we weren’t bad kids and they did ‘train us up in the way that we should go’ but life happens in this fallen world and you know how mothers are about their kids and grandkids! She’s gone Home now, along with Daddy, but I know that their prayers for us are still before the Lord…and I am so grateful!
I’ll remember…3 fingers…’not my problem to fix’…but the 3 fingers will, also, remind me of the Trinity…and that I can take any situation to God and ask Him to work all things out for our good and for His glory. I am especially doing that now concerning our nation. I Timothy 2:1-3 (KJV) says: “I EXHORT therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. II Chronicles 7:14 & 15 is another scripture passage that is so appropriate for us today. I think if we will be more diligent about doing what these verses instruct us (the Body of Christ) to do, we will see God’s mighty hand work again in this great nation. Please join…if you haven’t already… many around this nation who have picked up this mandate in I Timothy and are praying ‘first of all’ for our nation and our leaders. Prayer does change things…praise the Lord!
As always, thank you so much for your posts, Miss Phyllis. Happy Fourth of July to you and yours and to all of the special ladies who subscribe to Ribbon in My Journal. May God Bless you all and God, please bless this nation once again with Your glorious presence for we desperately need You. Thank You, Father! Amen.
Thank you and thank you again! Being a SENIOR, I have too much time some days. Not always good, so now I can use the THREE FINGER notice to myself. You are so helpful in many ways.
Every once in a while we hear a few words that can be like a light….”Not My Problem.” Trying to fix everything for everybody is exhausting and unhealthy and I am the world’s worst. I even imagine things to worry about which goes strictly against my faith. Worry means to divide the mind and that really is a fruitless activity. This is a little gift to me that I will use in situations where I really don’t need or want to be involved. Phyllis, thank you for your boldness in talking about these subjects.
Thank you. I am a fixer by nature, but there are some things we cannot fix. We need to let go and let God take care of it.
A wise friend of mine always reminds us don’t fall until your shot or “It is the same as it is not your problem.
Show me that sign, please. It would be helpful.
Thank you so much for ” Not My Problem”. I worry about all kinds of stuff I have no control over. I have to learn to let go. And, “Not My Problem” seems the way to go for me. Thank you.
I like your reminder about setting boundaries. If we try to help everyone, we may spread ourselves too thin to be effective in helping anyone. Long ago I heard, ” If you’re not part of the problem or part of the solution then don’t get too involved.” What is really powerful though is to pray for those going through hard times and step in with practical help if GOD so leads or inspires us. I do feel compassion on folks struggling around me though so I thank you for your humorous “not my problem” signal. That helps me rethink some boundaries I may be ready to overstep.
Thanks for the great share!!! Excellent, very sound advice, and wonderful recommendation regarding the three fingers!!!!! Many blessings to you and your hubby!
Oh Phyllis…you have no idea how much this resonates with me. I have been worn down lately with two friends who have transitioned their parents out of their homes and trying to be an encourager to my hubby and brother in law about their own mom needing to be in assisted living. I am a great fixer but it has really taken a toll on me. I want to show compassion for their situation but I too often find myself pondering on solutions for them. This will help me be reminded that I can only do so much … support but not take it on emotionally.
Similarly, I have been surrounded by so many friends loosing loved ones as young as 32 to cancer the past few months. Sadly my own brother was diagnosed last week with a rare aggressive cancer and the chemo is not helping. I am devastated in the thought of loosing him, but at peace knowing he is at peace and is very faith driven. I have turned my tears into reflecting on all our wonderful memories we have shared. Still doesnt take the pain away but is calming. With friends I pray that God will comfort them and I work at putting it in his hands.
I so appreciate your posts.
Caring people like yourself always want to help and you are right. It can take a toll on you. Hopefully this will help. I know it helped me when my friend shared it.
Thank you! I will implement this today with my adult Bi-polar daughter who is temporarily living with me. When I try to fix her problems it simply turns into an angry rage so must let her suffer the consequences of her choices.
Just what the doctor ordered! I will try to use this mantra from now on…I am constantly trying to “fix” things and more times than not, it only lands me in trouble. Thank you for this very timely advice!
One of my mottos is No Good Deed Goes Unpunished! While I joke and say this, sometimes we really feel like this.