Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Who's the Boss?

"You make me so mad!"
"Look how angry you've made me!"
"Now look at what you've done! I'm angry and yelling!"

Have you ever heard someone say something like this? Have you said this or thought it yourself? I know on more than one occasion I've pulled the "You make me so mad" card out of my pocket. I've been thinking about these phrases a lot lately and wondering if they really have a place in our home. If my goal is to cultivate a home culture that mirrors the attitudes of a loving Father God for His children, are these phrases supporting or fighting against that goal?

At the heart of these statements is the belief that we can control another human being. I know you're saying, "What? No, April. I'm saying that my kids/spouse/boss/etc. control me." But the truth is, that's backwards. If I think YOU can control ME, then I also believe that I can control YOU

So, what does the Bible say about control?

If you walk through an orchard, you don't hear the trees straining to produce fruit. It's what they do naturally when planted in the right environment with plenty of water, sunshine and nutrient-rich soil. The same is true of my own heart. When I'm in relationship with Holy Spirit, I'm not striving to produce these fruits on my own, they occur naturally because of His work in my heart. And one of those things that should be evident is self-control.

We aren't called or equipped to control another human being. But we are empowered, through the work of Holy Spirit, to control ourselves. And that gives me hope! Why? Because when my kids are acting crazy, my husband is being unkind, my boss is being demanding...I can choose to remain connected to Holy Spirit, to rely on His grace and to use love, patience, kindness, self-control and all the other fruits He has produced in me. I'm not saying it's easy, but I'm saying by grace, I can choose that.

I hope you're encouraged today, dear friend. It's not about striving, so you can stop punishing yourself. It's about resting in His grace and letting Him work in the weary areas of your life to produce a crop of good fruit.


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