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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Don't Be a Brooder

"God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." - Ecclesiastes 5:20 NLT

When I was getting counseling for depression and anxiety as a young wife and mother many years ago, my therapist told me something that I had never heard before or since - she said that I liked to "brood." I didn't give her comment much thought until the Lord challenged me to spend some time addressing the possibility that she was right.

So I looked up the definition of "brood," and I found words like "worry, fret, agonize, mope, sulk, and overthink." And then I saw the phrase, "to think deeply about something that makes one unhappy." And I realized that I do, indeed, have a tendency to brood.

Why would anyone think deeply about things that make them unhappy? Sometimes we just want to spend some time feeling sorry for ourselves, especially when we feel as though others don't seem to care about our unhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that self-pity is a sin because it is rooted in pride, and born of self-absorption. It also comes from a spirit of ingratitude, causing us to focus on what we don't have, instead of what we do have, and what we should be grateful for.

Scripture says: "God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." (Ecclesiastes 5:20 NLT) It's sad to say, but there have been times when I have been so busy brooding, that I couldn't enjoy my life the way God wanted me to. Jesus didn't suffer and die so that His followers could spend their lives worrying, fretting, or sulking. He said, "I came that they may have and ENJOY life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." (John 10:10 AMP) It's an insult to our Lord when we allow the problems and pressures of life to rob us of the joy that His sacrifice purchased for us.

One of the definitions of "brood" is "to meditate." And God tells us clearly that He desires His people to meditate on His Word. "Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." (Joshua 1:8 NLT) David had revelation from heaven in these matters, and that's one reason why he prayed, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14 NLT) And we would be wise to do the same.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I am inclined to waste precious time brooding, sulking, or moping around. Deliver me from a tendency to feel sorry for myself, and give me a heart of gratitude and thankfulness. Remind me often that You paid a terrible price so that I could enjoy my life here on earth, as well as in heaven. Thank You that as I meditate on Your Word and promises day and night, I will live a life of purpose, abundance, and joy!

- J. M. Farro


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