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Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

I have been guilty of thinking that there are degrees to the issues in my life. I sometimes think things like, “boy, if I could get that taken care of then I could work on all these other things.”

It may sound silly (or familiar) to you, but I am constantly reminded that the issues that we all face from outbursts of anger to lust to greed–they all come down to undisciplined and scattered thoughts and actions.

In a word: distractions.

Merriam Webster online defines distract as,

1 a : to turn aside : divert  b : to draw or direct (as one’s attention) to a different object or in different directions at the same time  2: to stir up or confuse with conflicting emotions or motives

I truly believe that most of the enemy’s attacks are means of distracting us and taking our attention off of our Father and who we are in Christ. Our attention is turned, our emotions are stirred and conflicted causing confusion. These distractions erode our freedom in Christ because we are focused on other things and we get led away by our own passions into temptation then sin (James 1:13-15).

Which way do we go?

1. Pay attention to your habits.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. –1 Peter5:8-9

You can probably put a finger fairly easily on what habits are productive in your life and what are not. Engaging in social media does not mean spending 8 hours a day on Twitter and Facebook. Vegging after a hard day at work doesn’t mean planting yourself in front of the TV for 4 hours in an evening while neglecting your spouse and family. There are good, better, and best ways to fulfill our needs and we have to be careful our habits don’t enable our distractions.

2. Exercise Self-control.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. –Proverbs 4:23

 Not only have you been given the responsibility to guard your heart, you have been given the ability. Remember that self-control is one component of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). You have access to this grace in your life! It’s not about trying to keep yourself from sinning. It’s about staying focused on Him while recognizing that what flows from Him is good and needs to be accepted while those distractions must be rejected. The issues of our lives flow from our heart and what we let in. That’s why the distractions bind us up and change our direction.

3. Pray and be thankful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. –Philippians 4:6-8

Paul exhorts us by the Spirit to have no anxiety. Distractions will certainly keep us from that reality, but prayer and thanksgiving focuses us and tunes us into His peace that guards our hearts and minds. We have to choose to think about the true, noble, right, pure, etc.–to think on Him. When we allow ourselves the detours no matter how minuscule we may think they are, the enemy takes his opportunity to pounce.

When I say “sweat the small stuff” I don’t mean to fear or dread or be uptight about man-made standards of righteousness. I mean to spiritually pay attention and allow God to have His work as Christ is formed in us. That’s the most restful place we can know.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you minimize the distractions in your life? What are the hardest places to do that for you?


  1. For me, it really is making sure I am seeking Him with everything. It’s so easy for me to get off track when I stop seeking or am just coasting by due to being busy or tired or lazy.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Child of the Living GodMy Profile

    • It’s really amazing how many things can become distractions and then form habits. I’ve given myself way too much to unproductive ways, but thank God for His grace to recognize and repent. Thanks Jason.

  2. minimizing distractions is one of the hardest things I have to do. Whether it be blogging, reading, cycling, studying, or time with my wife, my life seems to be filled with them. Finding the fine line is tough. When I figure it out, i will let you know. 🙂
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..WhoRU?My Profile

    • I know! Everything has the potential to be a distraction, but when we tune our hearts to stay yoked up with Him and work with Him, it keeps us on track. It’s quite a battle sometimes! And please keep me posted for what you figure out! 🙂 Thank you, Bill.

  3. Everything matters when it comes to our relationship with God. Anything that distracts or lessens our communion with Him cannot be considered small.

    Our spouse, family, work, and every other interaction should be approached with God in the forefront.

    Great reminder and encouragement today.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Our Time and Our EnergyMy Profile

    • Yes, everything matters! I honestly don’t believe it has to be a conscious thing 24/7 of “God is first.” When we take care of our family (physically, emotionally, spiritually), when we do our work to the best of our ability, when we seek Him, when we step out in faith… All of it helps to break distractions from gaining a foothold. Thanks so much, Dusty!

  4. Focus is so needed and distractions can certainly trip us up. And although I think the enemy likes to use weapons of mass distraction and I fall into the trap of not attending to “noble” things sometimes…I may have a slightly different take on this.

    There are time when I’m so focused on a task that I’m missing a God moment…so much so that the Father distracts me (to get my attention). He may use a beam of sunlight through a window, urging me outside (he did this yesterday for me). One of my kids may call me from another room and say “Hey Dad, come take a look at this!” The best one might be a look on my wife’s face, inviting me into a conversation that helps me understand her heart more. These are the kind of distractions I need.

    Well…you got me musing bro’…pardon my rambling on.
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Pressing On – Moving on MojoMy Profile

    • No, you’re not rambling and I totally agree with you! Like I said to Dusty, I’m not separating things into quiet time with God and ministry and everything else. I consider my marriage and family a HUGE part of my calling as well as designing websites and leading a church and everything else. I guess I would consider those God distractions more of a refocusing on the things that are important, whether it be the relationships we have or the truth of His word or anything else. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Sometimes my wife’s glances are God speaking. Sometimes the light in the window is His voice calling me aside. I’m totally with you! Thanks for making that distinction, Jay. Blessings!

  5. To read this, especially Philippians 4:6-8, is a needed reminder and conviction of my heart. I’ve been busy, out of town, back and forth, being overall distracted. Thanks for the reality slap… I think this is what they call tough love…

    • As long as you don’t feel condemnation, I’m good. 🙂 I need those slaps every now and again so I can be redirected--doesn’t mean I like them necessarily. Blessings to you, Floyd, and great grace.

  6. The best way for me to remove the distractions from my life is to get away -- to unplug. This is something that I am trying to build into my life as a normal regular thing.
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..4 characteristics every father should haveMy Profile

    • Totally agree. If I don’t make regular space for good down time, I get in trouble quick. Thanks Kevin.


  1. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff
  2. Jason Stasyszen - Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff | today on Connecting to Impact
  3. Jason Stasyszen - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff <<thank you, Dusty :)
  4. Glynn Young - Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact
  5. Jay Cookingham - RT @br8kthru: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff
  6. Jason Stasyszen - New Blog Post: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff
  7. Jason Stasyszen - RT @gyoung9751: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact <<thanks so much,…
  8. Jason Stasyszen - RT @strategicdad: RT @br8kthru: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff <<thanks Jay!
  9. Jason Stasyszen - RT @kevinmartineau: RT @br8kthru: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff <<thanks Kevin!
  10. Chris Canote - Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff | Connecting to Impact
  11. Juan Cruz Jr - RT @br8kthru: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff
  12. Jason Stasyszen - RT @leadingeveryday: RT @br8kthru: Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff <<thanks Juan!

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