“Overthinking Things and Sticky Jelly”
This week one of my kids must have been making a PB&J for lunch. To find a spatter of jelly on my counter tops is not uncommon. However, unbeknownst to me I stepped in sticky jelly in my kitchen, and in my hurried schedule for the day, I contributed by scattering it all throughout the house. Everywhere I stepped I left more sticky jelly only to step into it again and spread it some more. I’m still finding places to clean up!
I believe this is what we do with overthinking. At first, you may not realize you are thinking too much about a situation or a person’s reaction or whatever is at hand. “He looked at me differently than normal.” “She didn’t even say hello to me or acknowledge me.” “When he texted back he only said ‘k’ instead of ‘okay, that’s great!’” “What did she really mean when she said that?” These types of thoughts can slip into our lives and before we know it we are overthinking. It can go further into worrisome thoughts of, “What if I die and can’t raise my kids?” “What if my husband is being unfaithful to me?” “What if something really bad happens to my son?”
Once you begin to overthink, it begins to stick and scatter in other places of your life. If you’re not careful, it will become part of you and hold you in bondage—crippling the effectiveness of your life. Overthinking is pretty stealth in some ways because it doesn’t necessarily look like worry, and we know to worry or be anxious about things is sinful and hurts us (Phil. 4:8).
Controlling your thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5) and not taking things to heart too much is, I believe, an important key to life. “Do not take to heart all the things that people say,” Ecclesiates 7:21. Do not let yourself go there! When you find yourself wanting to think through an event, a situation, a person’s reaction, or worry about tomorrow, punch yourself. Ok. Just kidding. Tell yourself this truth, “Stop. It truly doesn’t matter. God will reveal what needs to be revealed in His time. How this situation works out is ultimately in His hands and me thinking about it (again and again) won’t fix it.”
Sister, just like you wouldn’t willingly track sticky strawberry jelly around your house, don’t let yourself get crippled with the sticky habit of overthinking! God bless you and take those thoughts captive! If I can do it, you can too!