I’ll be honest, there was a time in my life that I had too much drama. It was a struggle. (Feel sorry for my husband.) Finally I turned to the Lord about my dramatic life, and He taught me how to live a drama-free life. Take it from me, life is so much better when it’s drama-free! Doesn’t that sound awesome? A drama-free life? Sign me up!
What do I mean by “Drama”?
The word “drama” has many meanings. It can be a play performed in a theater or it can refer to the art of acting. It can also refer to stories or movies that are serious in nature. Lately, I’ve noticed that “drama” has become slang for the craziness that invades our lives. The phrase “Save the drama for your mama” and calling an overly emotional person a “drama queen” have both become popular.
I like to define drama this way:
Drama – a chaotic, frenzied response to the trials of life.
Let’s think about the opposite of drama. Words like peacefulness and patience and self-control come to mind. It’s interesting that those attributes are listed among the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, and yelling, tearfulness, rage, moodiness, uncontrolled emotions, being stressed out, or exaggerated reactions are not included. (Gulp . . . been there!)
Our example – Mary, the Mother of Jesus
When I was praying about getting rid of the drama, the Lord pointed me to the example of Mary. As I read Mary’s story, I saw ten steps to a drama-free life, and I wrote about those ten steps in a short devotional book, How to Have a Drama-Free Life. I’m sharing three of those ten steps today.
Maybe you’re in a season of DRAMA right now. Maybe you’re not, but you’d like to learn how to respond without drama when you’re faced with trials of life the next time they come. Here are a few steps we can learn from Mary about getting rid of the drama.
1.) Talk to a confidant.
Remember, we’re defining drama as a chaotic, frenzied response to the trials of life. We will all have trials. We are told in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in this life. Expect it. Drama comes in our response to the trials.
Mary had some serious trials. One of the things that Mary did that helped her to respond the right way was to confide in the right kind of friend. Mary visited her older relative Elizabeth and was encouraged by her. When we face trials--and we WILL face them--we can follow Mary’s example and gain encouragement from a friend.
Notice the type of friend Mary chose –
A) Wise and Mature - Elizabeth was a wise woman, older than Mary, and mature in the Lord. Mary didn’t choose to confide in a girl her age, or in an immature believer. Elizabeth was an older woman, and she was the wife of a priest. Elizabeth could give Mary insight from her years of experience and from her relationship with the Lord.
B) Removed from Mary’s situation - It’s also interesting to me that Elizabeth lived some distance away from Mary. Mary’s mother or sister or Joseph’s mother or sister probably wouldn’t have been able to give Mary impartial, objective advice. It’s a great idea to get wisdom from a friend who has some distance from our trials and can offer a different perspective. A friend like that can help to reduce the drama in our life, and not fan the flame of drama.
If you’re in a difficult situation, confide in someone who is wise and mature in the Lord, and who is removed from the situation. There have been many times in my life that I’ve called my mom or my sister or my mother-in-law or sister-in-law or a friend and their prayers and advice have been a lifeline to me many times over the years. I have also been blessed to be able to serve in the role of confidant for many of my friends and family over the years as well. You see, as you grow in the Lord, you can become a trusted, wise and mature friend to others.
2.) Praise and Remember.
Mary was presented with a scary trial and her response was to magnify the Lord with a beautiful song. I’ve often heard it said that we should magnify the Lord and not our problems. That’s exactly what Mary did. We magnify something by focusing on it, by talking about it and thinking about it. She didn’t complain or whine about her situation. Instead, she sang a song.
Mary’s Song Lyrics
A) She praised the Lord. – You may not feel like praising Him in the middle of your trial, but that’s actually the perfect time to praise. You have so many reasons to praise the Lord. Praise Him for your salvation. Praise Him for what you are going to learn from this trial. Praise Him for His wisdom and His patience with you.
B) She remembered what He had already done. – She listed things the Lord had done through the years for Israel. Has the Lord healed you in the past? Has He answered a prayer? Has He saved you? Remind yourself of those times. It will strengthen your faith when you remember what He’s done in the past.
What’s Your “Outlet” for Praise?
Mary had an outlet. She sang a song. I feel that an outlet that provides you a way to worship the Lord is very healthy. Personally, I love to write. I think writing my blog or Christian fiction or poetry is very healthy for me. For me, writing is my “song.” YOU have a “song” just like Mary. Maybe it’s buried deep inside of you, but it’s there. You have a way that you can magnify the Lord. Perhaps it’s a creative outlet like Mary’s – singing. Maybe your outlet is sewing or crafting. I have a friend who feels closest to the Lord when she’s running. She listens to worship music on her headphones, admires the Lord’s creation as she runs outside, and talks to Him the entire time she runs. I have another friend who says she feels very close to the Lord while she’s working in her garden. She says that the Lord teaches her all sorts of spiritual lessons through her experiences in her little vegetable garden. Find something that you love to do and use it as an outlet to express your praise to the Lord and magnify Him.
Sometimes too much communication can create drama.
Look at Mary’s example. After Jesus was born and the angels came and the shepherds worshiped, Mary’s response was to keep the events to herself and to ponder them in her heart. When something big happens in our life, we often feel the urge to share it with the world through social media or the phone. Maybe we need to follow Mary’s example and keep some things to ourselves to live a drama-free life.
The Lost Art of Pondering
Psalm 107:43 – Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. (NIV)
What does it mean to ponder? It means to reflect, to evaluate, to just simply think. Oh my. How can one do that in this age of a million television shows available all day, Internet, social media, responsibilities, chores, loud kids and needy husbands? We must make time for it. You need a little pondering time in your life, sister. You need to go stand outside and admire a sunset so that you can remember that God is the Creator. You need to sit and watch your kids play so that you can marvel at the miracle of life that comes only from God.
What happens if you don’t ponder?
When we don’t take time to ponder about what God has done, we get tunnel vision, focused too much on the temporary things of this life. We think life is all about appointments and tasks, and we forget the big picture. Pondering is taking our eyes off of the temporary and fixing them on the eternal.
Life can be crazy . . . but we don’t have to be! I’m praying for you to discover the Drama-Free, abundant, peaceful life that the Lord has prepared for you!
Martha Fouts and her husband, Kevin, of 21 years have three boys, ages 15, 14, and 12. Her primary passion in ministry at Discovery Church (Yukon, OK), where the couple are lead pastors, is to serve wherever she is needed, from women's ministry to hospitality. But her personal passion is to write. With four books to her credit, as well as a blog, Martha has a wide variety of offerings for the female reader. When she manages to find free time between her taxi services to three active boys, Martha loves to go shopping or snuggle up with a good book. Looking for a new book to read? Find her works at Amazon or your favorite e-book retailer.