Friday, March 6, 2020

How to Hold Life Loosely

By: Sarah Geringer 

Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.

1 Corinthians 7:30-31 NLT

Are you holding onto life a little too tightly?

This passage stood out to me in this week's BSF lesson. In this chapter on marriage, the apostle Paul writes about our need to hold life loosely, rather than holding on too tightly.

I have to admit, I often hold onto life too tightly. I'm a serious person by nature, and I'm also a highly sensitive person. Leaning toward seriousness and sensitivity makes it hard for me to let go.

In my current season of parenting teens, I'm learning to hold life a little more loosely every day. My three children are amazing people. I don't want to stifle their growth and independence. I certainly don't want to stand in the way of God's plans for their lives. But I need to stop holding them so tightly and let them spread their wings.

When I look at this verse, I realize that my feelings and possessions have tempted me to hold on more tightly. This weekend I have to price my children's outgrown things for a consignment sale. Twice per year, this ordinary practice stirs up much emotion in me. I reflect on many good memories of them wearing the clothes and playing with the toys. Then I tend to get absorbed by the feelings and possessions. It's a surprisingly painful struggle to let them go.

Rather than becoming too attached to things or people or seasons of life, I want to learn how to hold them more loosely. These three Scriptures from Ecclesiastes 3 are giving me perspective. When I meditate on them in a moment of temptation to hold on too tight, God helps me loosen my grip. I hope they will help you as well.

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

Knowing that each season, feeling and possession has its designated time helps me appreciate it more in the moment. I can also hold it more loosely when I know it's meant for a certain time. In the light of eternity, it may not have as much value as I assign to it. But I can appreciate the value it has right here and now, not more or less. How do you see God designating seasons for everything in your life?

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

Knowing that everything is beautiful for its own time helps me delight in God's creative work. My understanding of my joys, sorrows, relationships, and possessions is limited, but God's understanding is unlimited. Also, I find peace in knowing that the joys of eternity are never-ending, while the joys of our earthly life last mere moments by comparison. My trust in God grows when I think about the wide scope of his work throughout my life. How has God made everything beautiful for its own time in your life?

So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is our lot in life. And no one can bring us back to see what happens after we die.
Ecclesiastes 3:22 NLT

Knowing that God wants me to be happy in the work and life he assigned me gives me comfort. I choose worry and stress too much; I need to lean into peace, joy and delight. I need to stay in the present rather than fretting about the future or ruminating on the past. When I embrace the life God gives me without holding it too tightly, I can live the abundant life he promised. How does this verse help you gain comfort?

I hope these scriptures help you learn to hold life more loosely and gain greater peace. Want to dig into a deeper study of Ecclesiastes 3? Check out my book, Newness of Life.
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for having perfect control over my life.
I trust that every season of my life is an opportunity to glorify you.
I want to stop holding life so tightly, and hold it more loosely with your help.
Teach me which feelings, possessions, and relationships I need to let go or hold more loosely.
When I let go of my tight grip, help me place them securely in your hands, Lord.
I thank you for teaching me to see my life through an eternal perspective.
In Jesus' name,

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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  1. Sarah, thank you for reminding me that not only do the seasons change, but every season is different. I, too, want to trust that every season of my life is an opportunity to glorify God. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Blessings to you, and happy weekend, Joanne!

  3. It can be hard to let go. Especially of good things. Good memories, times, seasons of life. Though I seem to be impatient to let go of not so good times of life. Even longing for the end of some things. Remembering that there is a season for everything does help.


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