Sometimes we  fight over things that don't really matter and end up wasting lots of  time and emotional energy with very little to show for it. One of the  secrets to a successful life is learning over time which hills matter  and which ones don't. Every great general knows that you have to pick  your battles carefully. You can't fight over every hill or you'll end  up winning the battle but losing the war.

I suppose there is no way to learn this lesson easily. When we are  young, everything seems important, vital, crucial, and non-negotiable.  As we get older, we learn that many things that once occupied our time don't seem to matter much in the long run. Perhaps it is a blessing  that comes with the aging process. At a certain point in life, you  simply don't have the time or strength or energy to get involved in  every little squabble. So you decide what matters and what doesn't,  and if you are like most people, you end up with a relatively short  list of things that matter and a much longer list of things that
 don't.

This week a friend passed along a saying that seems very much on  point. "A bulldog can beat a skunk, but is it worth the fight?" If  we're laying down bets, I'll put my money on the bulldog every time.  But he'll end up smelling like a skunk even if he wins.

What is the point of all this? My mind is drawn to the words of David  in Psalm 37:7, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;  do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their  wicked schemes." "Fret" is an old English word that speaks of an  unsettled heart. The fretful believer is tossed and turned by  circumstances he cannot control. God's solution is simple: 1) Be still  before the Lord. That means what it says. Don't take matters into your  own hands. 2) Wait patiently for him. Give God time to work. Chuck  Swindoll says that waiting is the hardest discipline of the Christian  life. I agree wholeheartedly. We live in a "can-do" society where the  people who get ahead are those who "make it happen" no matter what it takes.

Here's a simple application. When you are churning on the inside about  things you can't control, don't give in to the temptation to take  matters in your own hands. Get alone with God and do nothing. That's  right. Just do nothing. Wait on him.

Or you can be like a bulldog and jump into the fray. But even if you  win the battle, you may end up smelling like a skunk.


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