A Question of Control
For those who know me, they know I like to have a good bit of control over my surroundings and life. The lack of control in situations is usually what causes me the most frustration in my life. However, as I get older (and I guess a bit wiser), I am realizing just how little I have control over. Admitting it is the first step to defeat the frustration that comes with it.All that to say this - I have finally figured out what I DO have control over in my life. And it is only TWO things: MY WORDS and MY ACTIONS.
- I have NO control over when this baby will come. I either have to wait on him or her to decide when to come or on the doctor to make the determination that he needs to intervene and prompt delivery.
- Something I have had to deal with since becoming pregnant - I had no control over whether this would be a viable pregnancy, whether the baby would be healthy, and I still don't have any control over the health, well-being, personality, or anything else about the baby - that is all up to God.
- I am currently looking into the possibility of moving into the area of online education. I have applied for several online teaching positions. However, I have no control over whether I get one of these jobs. Truthfully, I have no control over whether or not my county decides to enact another Reduction-in-Force and my job ends upon the chopping block. I have always felt very confident in my professional abilities, but my application and subsequent (unsuccessful) interviews for some jobs within my county this year have made me realize how little control I have over my career.
- I have little control over my home environment. Meaning, we live in a fixer-upper, and Carlos makes most of the decisions of what gets fixed next. But even he has no control over what unexpectedly breaks next, which often changes the renovation plan.
- I have NO control over other people. This one can be the most frustrating one of all. I can't control what people do and how they react. My classroom discipline got much easier once I realized this within the classroom -- that I can only work within the chosen reactions of my students rather than controlling their reactions. This is a bit harder in closer relationships. . . It is difficult not to want to control what Carlos says or does - but I guess that is part of the curse (Genesis 3:16).
That does make life more simple (if not easier). If I stop trying to control the world and people around me, I will have a lot more time to control my own words and actions, which is all I have control over anyway.
Apparently, the Bible has much to say about self-control (and not a whole lot about controlling others).
Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Titus 2:3-6 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.
Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ
2 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.