Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting Control

Here is a paradox: Americans strive their whole lives to be in control of their lives. We are trained from an early age that the American dream is to be independent, wealthy and successful. We want to control our own destiny and make our own decisions. However, the Christian faith teaches us that we can only be successful (and faithful) if God is in control of our lives. What a conundrum.

I have been working with a person who has never been in control of anything. She is scared to be in control because for her first years her parents were in charge. Later she was in a relationship where her mate was in charge. She has learned to let things happen to her. What a travesty.

We should all be in charge of our own decisions. We should be assertive and not wait for things to happen to us. I must confess that I have not arrived at this point. But here are some suggestions for people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Don't put things off. Take advantage of every opportunity to resolve conflicts and disputes. When you wait for someone else to resolve things, they are in charge of them.
  • Regularly evaluate your life, your values and your purpose. Make sure that you are spending your time doing the things that will give you control. Don't waste your time on "trifles."
  • Be aggressive, but graceful. Take advantage of your position in life, but not to the disadvantage of others. Your goal should be to control your life, not someone else's.
The second part of that paradox is just as troubling. God needs to be in control of our lives. We must voluntarily include him in all our decisions and preferences. We need to take his desires into account and do them.

Eventually, as you grow in faith, you will learn that what God wants will become almost indistinguishable from what you want. That is when you know that God is in control.

No comments: