We all long to be in control in one way or another. The desire to control somebody, something, or some circumstance and then to fail to get the desired outcome, can create stress, anger, frustration, irritation, discouragement and a broad range of emotions. Some of us desire and feel the need to control our world around us more than others do. The tension and the pull to manipulate the outcome or a situation or the attitude of somebody else feels so demanding…and we think we know best. When ultimately, our sovereign God is in control of the outcome and it’s consequences and HE knows best. His way is perfect. So then, why do we stress? Why do we try to manipulate? Why do we feel the need to do things our way? And how does this translate to me, or you, and where we are at in life right now? To me, it seems like control issues stem from fear. Fear that we cannot control an issue that is outside of ourselves, and BEYOND what we SHOULD be controlling…
- I cannot control the attitudes that my children display, but I CAN control my own attitude and I can give consequences to help them learn self-control…assuming I give these consequences having my own self under control ;).
- I cannot control the feelings and emotions of my children but I CAN control how I respond to them. “Let all you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
- I cannot control the financial burden, but I can pray and give it to God who owns it all. And I can choose to take care of what God has given me.
- I cannot control what others say to me, but I can choose to give it over to God, focus on TRUTH, and not dwell on discouragement. And I can control my response and reaction.
- I cannot control the God-given shape of my body, but I can choose to feed it healthy foods and exercise and water.
- I cannot control a toddler (OR TEEN for that matter LOL) tantrum but I can choose to put him in a safe place and walk away and focus on Jesus music ;D.
- I cannot control my husband, but I can choose to serve him with all my heart and be the best help-meet EVER! (I have an amazing husband by the way 🙂
- I cannot control/manipulate a perfect life, but I can choose to trust God and his perfect ways.
It is not my job to control the uncontrollable. It is not my job to change another person. IT IS GOD who works in my children. Because of that I don’t need to stress or be anxious over undesirable behavior, but rather follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in that moment and in decisions about how to discipline each situation. Give it all to God…from attitude to anxiety to discipline to outcome. It’s HIS problem. I am the messenger, but not a puppet master. My children and other people in my life have a free will and personal choices that THEY must answer to God for. I am responsible to be a God-honoring parent and friend and the rest is up to them and God.
Do you struggle with holding onto an area of control that you need to let go? Fear keeps us holding on to something that is not good for us. God tells us to give that fear, and the control, over to him. These verses have encouraged me!
Isaiah 41:10 – Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my VICTORIOUS right hand.
Psalm 56:3 – When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Philippians 4:6,7 – Don’t worry about anything: instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. THEN you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Psalm 94:19 – When anxiety was great within me, your comfort gave me renewed hope and joy.
Isaiah 43:1 – But now, this is what the LORD says…Fear not FOR I HAVE REDEEMED YOU; I have called you by name. YOU ARE MINE.
Joshua 1:9 – This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Matthew 6:34 – So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
1 Peter 5:6-7 – So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God for he cares for you.
Isaiah 35:4 – Tell everyone who is discouraged, be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue!
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life…of whom shall I be afraid?
Proverbs 29:25 – Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.
Psalm 34:4 – I prayed to the Lord and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Revelation 1:17 – Then he placed his right hand on me and said, “do not be afraid, I am the first and the last.”
Mark 5:36 – Jesus told him, “do not be afraid, Just have faith.”
God has revealed to me that a lot of my stress and anxious feelings stem from my desire to control and fix what is not mine to control and fix. He has encouraged me to “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22. Instead of searching for a remedy within myself, I need to just release my burden up to God who has a perfect plan and promises to guide me and give me his perfect peace beyond all human understanding.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – We are human but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.