Monday – Control Freaks

By George Volpe

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain.” 2 Corinthians 6:1

I remember asking the kids to turn off the lights when they left a room. And though I think they really wanted to obey; it just wasn’t foremost in their little minds. I ended up walking around shutting off lights time after time. All my demanding was not changing their heart. I just could not command the outcome. I had to admit that maybe someday it would be important to them, so eventually I just quit pestering them, and quietly walked around shutting off lights. Now they pay the electric bill, and they shut the lights off.

There are much bigger broken switches we would like to turn off but can’t. A wayward child, a miserable job, no job at all, a lifeless marriage, or a habit that seems insurmountable. How do we steer through those broken issues?

Steering a car is pretty easy. The car doesn’t resist when you turn the wheel. But living things are different. They don’t have steering wheels. They have hearts. That part of us we can’t see or touch, but we know is there. It’s the part of us that moves us to think, to choose, and to act.

We want to steer kids, spouses, managers, employees, friends, enemies ─ in short, everyone and everything around us. We do this because we think we’re right, and everyone else is wrong. We have built a fortress of justification, and if everyone just listens to us, the world is surely a better place. That kind of thinking is so pervasive, it is one mess after another just waiting to happen.

Very little in life is really within our control. And that includes the hearts of all those around us. What is within our control is the choice to either obey God and trust Him, or to go on an adventure for our own selfish satisfaction. We are meant to be workers together with God. We are not meant to lead our own way. He is. We are not responsible for results. He is. The grand plan for our lives is not ours. It is His.

I have planted many gardens in my life. Nothing beats fresh produce. But all I did was prepare the soil, plant seeds, water and wait. I could not guarantee results. The results are always in the hand of God. And so it is with people and the issues of life. We teach, we preach, we love, we give. We work with the God of Heaven, but the results will always remain with Him.

Read 1 Corinthians 3.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 1

Romans 10:5-11:24

Ps 88:7–18

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