I have felt so powerless for most of my life. I wouldn’t have used the word, powerless, but that’s what it boils down to. I have let other people tell me who I am, in both direct and indirect ways – a tagalong, ugly, nerd, too sensitive, easily deceived, weak, failure, a bad Christian, think too much, complicated, incapable, need to be controlled.
I have been reactionary with regard to all of those things. Some descriptions just landed on me and I received them, wearing them like name tags. Yes, I’m a tagalong. Nobody actually wants me around, they just put up with me.
Some made me angry so I became bitter. No, I am not too sensitive and I may not be all I’ll ever be, but how dare you try to tell me who I am in the eyes of God. When did you become omniscient? When did He give you Holy Spirit status?
Both of those reactions were wrong. Both made me sick inside.
True power has nothing to do with being in control of other people, which is where many go wrong. They try controlling their surroundings…which is futile, if you haven’t noticed. A person might feel they’ve gained power by controlling the outward behavior of the ones they live life with, but there will be constant fear of losing it, which isn’t actually powerful.
No. I’m beginning to realize that true power is about taking responsibility for myself. What am I thinking? How am I responding? What do I believe? Am I telling myself the truth? Am I reminding myself of what God says? Do His words matter more than the words of others? Am I forgiving quickly? Am I praying? Am I engaged with Him throughout my day? Am I asking for forgiveness when I’m wrong? Am I guarding my own heart? Am I loving people?
Those are the things that matter, first and foremost. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control. When I’m listening to Him, and walking with Him, I will be focused there. I can’t do anything about what others think, say or do, but I can control my response. I don’t have to take their words as truth and I don’t have to get angry about them, either.
There’s a better way.