What I can’t and can control
Can’t control others; Can control my attitude
Can’t control the situation; Can control my perspective
Can’t control circumstances; Can control my joy
We want to be in the driver seat of our lives. We want to be the dominating voice in the conversation. We crave that instance of controlling even in just one aspect of our life. Regardless of who’s impacted along the way. Some of us feel caged in over this. We desperately try to seek control in areas of life we just can’t control. We find discouragement when the outcomes are out of our control, but there was nothing we could’ve done in the first place.
How damaging is it really to be in control of everything? What are the potential outcomes when we take control in time we shouldn’t? Could we ruin relationships or potential opportunities? Could we get in our own way by acting instead of reacting?
It’s hard to admit to ourselves why we do these things. Perhaps it’s habit. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism. Maybe it’s something you don’t even realize your’e doing. But think of one aspect in your life that you’re trying to control that you shouldn’t be. Whether it’s a job prospect, or a relationship, or a health concern, something you are harming yourself over by trying to force something to happen. Maybe it’s something you don’t want to happen, so you’re putting everything in the way to stop it.
These are all examples of ways we try to control our lives. Not all control is bad, but if we don’t let others step in or give control to God, we lose out on opportunities by caging ourselves in. Furthermore, when we constantly sit in the driver seat and don’t take turns, we become exhausted in life. It’s okay to ask for help along the way.
It’s also important to remember that God is in control. When we rely on Him, we can find peace and freedom we didn’t have before when we were putting all of the pressure on ourselves.The more we try to take the control away from Him, the more burden we take on ourselves, and the more frequent we set ourselves up for discouragement.
At the top of this post, I started a list. It’s a list of the first few things I remind myself of when I feel discouraged. I can’t control everything, and by reminding myself that I’m not supposed to, I feel the burden lessen. Then I follow up with what I can control, and I’m encouraged to know that I can work on other areas in my life as a reaction to what I can’t. My challenge for you over the next few days is to create your own list. Challenge yourself to take a look at the things you wish you could control but ultimately can’t, and then follow it up with something you can control in response.
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” -Proverbs 21:1-3
“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” -James 3:2