The Art of Control

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I have always liked to be in control.  I can tell it in my driving, my learning, and my relationships.  This is one area that has been the hardest in terms of living the Christian life.  I’ve really never doubted God’s sovereignty – but if His sovereignty is true, then I am definitely not in control.

Shannon Popkins’ book Control Girl is a good heart searcher to see if you might have control issues too. And in some way I think we all do.

I loved how Shannon shared personal stories and was real about her own struggle with control.  Even though she wrote this as a Bible study, I think it was more of a book that included Scriptures and make sure you ask yourself some questions.  She didn’t really hit the Bible study part hard.  Bible studies study the Bible, dig in, really take time to invest in the Word itself.  While this book was well-written I think it missed the mark on the Bible study part.  That isn’t to say it doesn’t have merit – it would still be a good book to read.  And maybe you can take the Scriptures she gives you and invest and dig deep in the Scriptures – more than she does.

Gospel, Tears, and Oatmeal

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You would think that a long (11+ hours) night of sleep would help with my emotionalness in the morning, but not today.  And by the time I finished my bowl of peaches and cream oatmeal, there were tears flowing into it.

Tears – why tears?  After thinking about it, I chalk up to sin and the flesh and trying to outdo the gospel.  Two sins that reigned supreme in my life as a single was independence and control.  I was the only person really calling shots in my life so I controlled my scheduled, my checkbook, my evenings.  It was rather nice.  But, it didn’t help me as I prepared to be married.

Now that I am married and definitely not in control of much (and I am so glad I don’t have to be and that is not the role that God created me for), I find there are still times I struggle with wanting to fix everything.  Funny – that is usually the male role in the relationship – being the fixer.  No, but I strive for it.

And I realize, on mornings like this, that when I strive to fix things that are clearly out of my control or realm of responsibility as the wife in this marriage, I have shortchanged the gospel and made myself God.  This is definitely not the place I need to be. 

When we put ourselves as the fixers or try to usurp our roles, we say that we don’t need God or the gospel.  God has the supreme control and authority in our lives.  He is the reigning King.  And not just over the things that we “give” him – but over everything.  Sometimes, most of the time, we have to pry our grimy and greedy little fingers off of God’s possessions.  They are not ours. 

When we come to know more of our weakness and more of His greatness (John 3:30), then we will come to live in right relationship to the gospel and our famous God.  We won’t want to be in control of everything and we will be ok when we can’t fix everything in our lives – or anyone else’s. 

And that’s the perfect place to be.