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.
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.