Recently I was at a women’s event where a discussion question prompted us to evaluate our spiritual “walk”. The focus of the message was Hebrews 12:1 (NIV):
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
We were asked what was holding us back from following Christ with abandon. What weight or sin did we need to shed to run our race freely? As I prayed over the question, I struggled. While I’m not under the impression that I have no sin to confront in my life, I couldn’t seem to put my finger on just one thing in this season, one specific sin I was battling.
Then one word began to dance through my thoughts—control. At first, I was quick to disregard it. After all, no one wants to be the friend, the coworker, or heaven forbid, the fiancée everyone knows is controlling.
In general, I rarely have to come face-to-face with my need for control. I live alone, so most of my life truly exists within my own neatly designed plan and schedule. From the way I make my coffee and the way I clean my house to how I schedule my days, I don’t have to consult anyone else for input. Ironically, people often compliment me on how “under control” my work or home life appears. While I’ve thrived in this environment for several years now, it wasn’t until recently that I considered the spiritual impact of my need for control.
If I’m honest, I must admit that most of my need for control is rooted in selfishness. It reveals my belief that I know best. When I test my motivation against Scripture, however, I’m quickly reminded that I cannot retain control and master surrender. It’s easy to believe that Jesus just wants my heart, but I often neglect or ignore that he also wants my plans, my selfish ambition, my schedule, and my availability.
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