March 12, 2018
Does Controlling My Life Really Protect Me?
The Great American Way … Capitalism … the Land of Independence … Self-Sufficiency … Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We are raised and taught “take care of yourself, don’t be a burden on others,” “It’s the weak who are dependent on something or somebody else,” and “I want to do life on my own terms, my own way!”
If you were ever a victim of abuse of any kind, you certainly felt you had no control in the situation, whether it was “mild” abuse like ridicule or harshness from your parents, rejection by peers or older siblings, any form of mistreatment in a dating relationship, or misuse of power by someone in authority. Unfortunately, for some, the abuse might have been extreme or even violent … bullying, sexual coercion while dating, mugging, physical assault, sexual molestation, or even rape. Unfortunately, no one in this world escapes all mistreatment.
Having experienced some form of abuse, we associate that abuse with losing control, so we make a subliminal promise to ourselves never to be in that dependent position again. Our strategy is to control most situations … including every relationship in our lives … to make sure our vulnerability never answers the door when potential abuse knocks. An important downside of this “self-protective strategy” is that it ripples into our relationship with God. We now have a hard time being vulnerable to God. We struggle with depending on God and His loving, but controlling, hand in our lives.
So, we rebel against His instruction and control. I know. I was hardheaded about turning control of my life over to Him, letting myself be vulnerable … and although I am much better, I still struggle with it. If I ever get tempted to cut God out, I just remember my past when I tried being independent and controlling all areas of my life. It landed me in jail, with alcohol and a fear of other’s opinions and feelings as my masters.
None of us can become all we were meant to be until we recognize that God is in control … that He loves us and wants to care for and bless us. We are fooling ourselves when we think we can successfully make it through this life on our own. In reality, we need to lean on Him … on His wisdom, strength, love, character, promises … and especially on His son Jesus Christ.
Today, assess whether you are in control of your life, or whether God is. Remember, this man you read about, Jesus, loves you. He is inviting you to put your hands in His and let Him guide you and help you through all circumstances of life … regardless of whatever has happened in the past. Stop trying to figure out everything on your own. Stop trying to forge through life depending upon your own strength and understanding. Let Jesus love you. Let Him help you reach your full potential and accomplish all the good things He has called you to do. He actually died for you … simply because He loved His Father … AND YOU! Whether you appoint God to be in charge of your life or you re-elect yourself is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, forgive me for thinking I could make it through life on my own. I need Your help and Your guidance in everything I do. Help me to stop trying to control everything. Help me to listen to Your voice … to obey You … to trust You. As I lean on myself and what the world offers, my hole only gets deeper. Thanks for loving me more than I love me, and for showing me how much You really love me by taking my penalty and place on the cross. I pray this in the name of the One who was sent to take my place, and who teaches and guides me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. Proverbs 3:5-7
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17