The harm of holding it.

Featured harm of holding

Ever had too much water to drink and can’t find a bathroom?

Yup, we’re going there.

Things can get pretty… uncomfortable. (And this blog post might seem that way too, but keep reading, I promise it will be worth it and you won’t forget it.)

Kids begin to do a little dance, crossing one leg over the other, and they just can’t sit still anymore. And by kids, I basically mean all of humanity. You can’t focus, participate, or even talk about what’s happening around you, because suddenly you are obsessed, consumed, overwhelmed with what is going on WITHIN you.

And either you find a bathroom soon, or instead of YOU being focused on no one but you, EVERYONE will be focused on no one but you, as you have a messy accident right then and there.

Some people may think drinking less water might be the solution. But basically every doctor/nutrition/person everywhere will argue that we probably need more water intake, not less. So how do you avoid the painful experience? Umm… find a bathroom on a regular basis, y’all.

So let me just say this as delicately as I can and transition into some spiritual application:

When there’s no way to let go of what you’ve filled yourself up with, you can create a harmful situation.

I firmly believe that we have seasons or assignments when we are anonymous, behind the scenes, and just spending time being “fed.” It may not be time for you to be up front, or leading, or doing those things you dream about in the future. But that does NOT mean you shouldn’t also be ministering in some way. 

We are all called to bless others, to serve, to be compassionate, to bring truth into situations.

And if you’re not finding an outlet for the good things you’re taking in during this time… well… it may get uncomfortable.

Maybe you’re finding yourself suddenly doing a little dance, trying to think of somewhere else to be rather than where you are right now. Perhaps you can’t focus or participate; you even find it hard to hold conversations with those around you. Suddenly you are no longer present, but instead are obsessed, consumed, and overwhelmed with something that used to seem good, but is now causing anxiety and possible harm.

Just as our physical lives are designed for both sides of this experience, so are our spiritual lives.

I’ve watched too many people sit in their chair for too long, and instead of finding regular opportunities to minister to other people, they end up getting all awkward and antsy and lo and behold, they end up accidentally making a big mess for all to see.

Then they no longer feel like where God has placed them is a good fit, simply because now their pride and ego are hurt. And too often, the blame gets pushed to others for not providing enough ministry opportunities, delegating enough authority to them, allowing them to lead yet, etc, etc.

One year, one of our kiddos had a problem with accidents at school. She instantly blamed the teacher for not allowing her to go to the bathroom. But was it the teacher’s fault? No. Trust me, if she had asked, she would have been given opportunity and blessing. And even if it wasn’t the right time at that moment, students had ample opportunities throughout the day to stop in to the restroom, if only they’d take the time to do so instead of playing on the playground for that extra two minutes.

See the correlation?

So how do you avoid the harm?

  1. Keep being filled up. Don’t avoid learning more just because you feel like you don’t have restrooms waitingenough opportunity to teach. Larger influence will come when you are faithful to be a small influence throughout the days.
  2. Take blessing breaks regularly. Find ways to encourage others. Be intentional about it. Just like regular bathroom breaks during the day mean you don’t end up uncomfortable, regular outlets of conversation, encouraging others, sharing with a friend what you’ve been learning, etc, can avoid the pain of holding it all in.
  3. Take responsibility for what you need. Are you assuming your leader won’t give you opportunity and blessing? If you haven’t actually ASKED, please do so. And respect that tomorrow, you may need to see the smaller windows and opportunities they have given you. Were you seeing the potential of ministry in each of those moments? Or were you too focused on self?

So we’re going to keep drinking more water, and we’re going to keep going to the restroom.

And we’re also going to keep learning, AND keep serving, right?

2 Comments
  1. What a nice, gentle way to approach the topic! Definitely has me thinking about the times when I’ve been frustrated, about church things or work things or even family things. It’s easy to say something like, “Be the change you wish to see.” It’s much better to walk through it the way you’ve laid it out. We can see frustration as a resource — a sign that tells us we’re ready to do more with what we’ve been given — and that is a much more productive way to approach emotions. Thank you, Pastor Kathy!

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