Posted in Anxiety, Faith, Mental Health

Not the Boss of Me!

“I will not be mastered by anything.”  (The Bible)

Fitness trackers are the latest things in the exercise world.  Promises of helping you become more active, eat and sleep better and ultimately, turn you into a healthier human being abound.  I bought into this promise about two and a half years ago.

Dosed with excitement because a friend was using a FitBit, I ordered one immediately, very excited to get my 10,000 steps and track my sleep.  At first, it served me well.  I was paying attention to my activity level and exercise, walking more, going to bed earlier and becoming what I hoped was a healthier person.

Very quickly, however, this servant “became the boss of me.”  I found myself leaving family at Thanksgiving evening and going out alone at 9:00 pm in the chilly darkness to get my 10,000 steps.   At 11:50 pm one night, I began running in place just to eek out those last 300 steps, missing the mark by just a few as the clock struck midnight.  I became obsessed.

It worsened when I bought my husband one for his birthday and found there was also a “community” I could invite friends to.  Now, I had others to compete with, especially the man I shared my home with.  I spent my days keeping track of and trying to beat those who walked miles and miles a day.   I became a lunatic about “keeping up” with the person who had the most steps.

The day I realized that it was no longer serving me, but had become my master, was a light-bulb and life-giving moment.  It wasn’t just about FitBits, but about life.  I recalled a quote by John Seymour, “Emotions are excellent servants, but tyrannical masters.”  I realized it wasn’t limited to emotions.  It wasn’t limited to FitBits.  Most things in life make great servants, but terrible masters.  Here’s a taste:

(Aside: my FitBit just buzzed to remind me to get off my behind and get moving…WOW)

  • Emotions

Anger, fear, sadness and happiness are all great servants.  Anger causes us to act for justice and right the wrong in the world.  Fear prevents us from doing things that would harm us or warns of impending trouble.  Sadness helps us process through loss and heartache.  Happiness invites celebration of blessings.  However, each one is a terrible master.  Rage causes both physical and emotional harm.  Anxiety cripples.  Depression paralyzes.  The pursuit of happiness at all costs can destroy.

  • Money

Much good comes from making and using money.  We care for ourselves and our families and even provide for the poor.  However, money as a master can be all-consuming, with the result many times being workaholism and even soul-wrecking addictions.

  • Power

Many of us exercise power in our worlds.  We influence the next generation, bring people together for a cause and lead others to a better place.  However, the thirst for power produces dictators at every level, and even, at its worst, war.

These are just a glimpse.  What about food, shopping, phones, medicine, exercise, just to name a few? And in the end, something as simple as my FitBit.

I am certainly not opposed to my FitBit.  In fact, it’s one of the things I love (see What I Love and Don’t) and if you click here, you will be brought to Amazon to find out more about the one I wear.  It sits proudly on my wrist and some days I do better than others allowing it to be the boss of me.  The problem doesn’t lie in the technology.  It resides in me.

When I sense the “take over,” as I like to call it, the simple questions I ask of myself are “Who is the boss?  Is this my servant or am I the one in chains? Who is serving whom?”  The immediate answer in my heart tells me all that I need to know and I am reminded of the great and loving Master who never makes me a slave, but calls me a friend and a daughter.

Now I will ask you.  What might be something in your life that started as a really wonderful servant, but now may have become your tyrannical master?   Feel free to comment below, just hold it in your private place or maybe share with a trusted friend.  Lastly, and as always, please share and subscribe below so that you don’t miss out.








Sappy, sarcastic, serious and spiritual hope-bringer. Eat my potato chips with milk.

12 thoughts on “Not the Boss of Me!

  1. It’s not even 6:30 am and already my emotions are controlling me. This week I have to pack up and close up a job I love, filled with people I’m deeply invested it. I can see from this that I m carrying a weight I need to surrender. God’s love is broad enough for me to cast this on Him


  2. I have an issue with phone companies. Not the phone itself but I feel that this world is going somewhere and it is not God’s will. We are handing ourself to these people and they do what they want with us and it is because we gave them the power, all our info, all of us, our moments in pictures, our friends and family contacts, our passwords… maybe our mind, our peace. In my case even my health. I knew that, when I had a problem with my phone and had to call sprint….. I knew then, I was nothing to them. They didn’t care about me and I couldn’t do anything. Could you imagine that they don’t have a customer service email? Of course they don’t want it on writing they want you to spend hours over the phone until you give up …. it is so sad but that’s where we are going….. things mastering you. Steeling your self. It gets harder to detach yourself to them and free yourself to His presence. I still fight to find those treasured moments. 🙏🏻😘😍
    Esther, you taught me that! To find those moments. Thank you 👏🏻🙏🏻


    1. Thanks so much for your comment. It does seem that things like phones (and phone companies) might have more mastery over us than we even realize. I am just so incredibly thankful that my heart does not belong to them. It belongs to the best Master, the one you are talking about, that gives us gifts and treasures us! Remember that book we read, One Thousand Gifts? That helps me many times just like what you are trying to do! Love you Cristina!


  3. As someone who loves my FitBit and is very motivated to walk more because of it, I resonated with the idea of letting it assist me and not master me. The one salient example in my life of letting something good be my boss is (ironically) my phone. I am tethered to it 24/7 and while I’m grateful for it, I recognize that it often “bosses” me, not vice versa. A few weeks ago I forgot it and left it at home, and the anxiety I felt in it’s absence was just ridiculous!


  4. Esther— I also have a love-hate relationship with my Fitbit! I think it’s great, especially for writers like us who spend much of day sitting at a desk, but how insane am I when I run laps around my bedroom at 11pm to make that wretched 10,000 step goal? Yeah, pretty insane. I don’t like to disappoint my Fitbit. Sheesh. Love how you applied this to so many other areas of our lives, too— I have much to think about! Stopping by from Hope*Writers 🙂


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