Day 20: Self-control vs. victimhood

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2 Peter 1:5-9
“5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

You cannot control another person. You cannot control their moods, their actions or reactions. You can try, but you will ultimately fail.

This is where self-control comes in. God wants me to release control of the other person over to Him but He always wants me to maintain self-control in all situations.

This is an incredibly difficult task… especially when you have experience being someone’s punching bag. But, one of the biggest lessons God has been teaching me is releasing relationships and releasing control and expectations in those relationships.

Galatians 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Both of these verses are terribly convicting. As a self-proclaimed bitterness expert I can tell you that making the choice to not hold a grudge is 100% the Holy Spirit. I cannot do it on my own. Also, to live in peace with those who hurt you… really God, can’t I just ignore them, not be angry and call it a day?

No… God tells me to add goodness, self control, mutual affection etc… to my faith (2 Peter above).

I have a choice in the matter. I can allow bitterness and anger to control me or I can allow the Holy Spirit to control me (self-control). I will be more effective in my walk with the Lord if I release the anger and resentment I have inside.

I have come a long way… believe me… I came from a point where an eating disorder controlled how I lived because I didn’t know another way to cope.

But, God lead me to an amazing counselor who showed me that I could either choose to be a victim of anger/bitterness/others or I could choose to live in freedom and self-control.

I choose freedom and self-control. I have to make that choice every day but I know what it is like on the other side and I don’t want to go back.

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About tappytime

This blog is about lessons I am learning on a daily basis. I am a stay at home mom, so most of the lessons I learn from my children. Matthew 21:16 "'Do you hear what these children are saying?' they asked him. 'Yes,' replied Jesus, 'have you never read, '"from the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise'?"" God teaches us things in all different ways... These are my reflections on those lessons.

3 responses »

  1. You obviously know I agree with you! I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that all this is a process. I can make the conscious choice, “I forgive her” and try to live in that manner, but the Savior makes up ALL the rest. He replaces the bitterness with love and understanding. There’s no part of, ‘I need to try harder to let go!” I can forgive, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for the rest of my life, at least for now. That doesn’t mean I haven’t forgiven, just that that’s life when you were raised by a mentally ill person. I think it’s all about faith and patience and letting the Savior work miracles in your life.

    I also like, and I can’t remember which specific Old Testament story, where someone goes in as a mediator between two armies and that person is a type of Christ. He goes to one army and says, “Look, I’ll pay for everything the bad guys owe you, but you need to turn around and go home and leave it alone.” Then he says the same thing to the other side. He literally did pay for the sinner’s debts, He faced the wrath of God, He met the demands of justice, so all that matters to me is that I look to Him and He’ll fill in all the cracks because that’s why He suffered, so He could provide that balm. There’s a scripture in my scriptures where Jesus is saying to people, “Will you not now repent, that I may heal you?” And I think that’s His constant refrain, “Just look to me, think upon me, let me take the burden, and I will give you peace, love, and healing.” Sorry, there’s just one more of our scriptures that I really like to think about, He says, “Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet..”

    Oh, and I was reminded recently really strongly that the things other people do to me are between me and the Lord, it keeps my focus on Him instead of on how annoying other people are. Or rude. Or mean.

  2. I was actually thinking about you too when I wrote this. You have so much strength… it takes a lot of strength to say “I forgive” and leave justice to the Lord.
    I am getting there.
    So true… other people’s actions towards me are not my responsibility… how I respond is my responsibility… sometimes it is just so hard to love your neighbor! 🙂

    • It’s a LOT easier when you’re living across the country, I’ll tell you that! And I’ve thought about how Jesus said, “Love your neighbor” because it’s hard, sometimes you know too much about your “neighbors” which makes it a lot more difficult to love them than just those you see at church or something, which is obviously probably why He said it! Thanks for thinking of me, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who was affected by things and internalized it, so thank you for sharing! It’s nice to be reminded, “It’s not your fault, it’s normal” in life!

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