I’VE GOT IT UNDER CONTROL
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I’ve Got It Under Control
Control is elusive. It is making things the way we want them or the way we think they should be and just when we think we have it; we lose it. It’s like being in a bathtub with a bunch of inflated balls. We try to control them by holding them under water and just a slight move causes them to pop to the surface. The more we try to control them, the more they escape our grasp and come up to the surface. We get angry and upset and the whole collection bobs to the top. We’re done. We’ve lost control. But, could we really control them anyway?
There’s almost an endless list of things we cannot control. Most of the times these “things” dare, defy and entice us into trying to control them—but reality shows us we can’t. People, emotions, children, spouses, debt, cravings are just a few of the things we try to get under control. We get suckered into the control trap. While we think we can handle things, all it takes is one little change, one little move and the things we’re trying to control (like the balls in the tub) pop to the surface. They almost laugh at us for trying.
- What are some of the things you try, without success to control? What’s your desired outcome in the first place?
- Read Romans 6:21–23. What does your life look like when you try to control things you really can’t.
Stepping Out of Grace
When we get into the control trap, we step out of Grace. Grace is the undeserved favor that God shows us in his love and mercy toward us. When we try to take control from God’s hands, we remove ourselves from His grace and miss out on his peace.
Tension and fear lead us to worry, guilt and regret. Grace seems to be far behind. Peace is something we want, but we stand with our hands clenched trying to control. Unfortunately, when our fists are clinched, God can’t put anything from Him into them.
When we’re in the control trap, nothing feels right. We’re out of focus. We can’t enjoy God and who we are when we’re trapped.
- Read Romans 8:4–5. Where is your mind “set”? On the things you cannot control? OR God’s grace? Why?
- What would happen if you let go and let God fill your hands with His Peace and Grace? What are some ways you could set your mind on these things rather than on controlling things? What is key for you to do that?
There are three things we can control: Our feelings, our thinking and our actions. There are four things we cannot control: What others think, how others feel, how others act and circumstances. Why do we spend so much time trying to control these last four things? Does controlling them lead us to peace?
- Read Psalm 4:8; Psalm 34:14 and John 14:27. Can you be in control and have peace? What do you need to do to have the peace Christ offers?
- Sometimes it helps to make a short journal of what you’re trying to control. List the things you are trying to control and see where they fit (controllable or uncontrollable). Where is God showing you to let go?
- »The Invitation, December 26-30, 2011
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