Control and the Christian Life
Isn’t the Christian life about giving up control, not taking control?
This is the reason that boundaries are such good news to people. God is behind the idea of you being in control of your own life! He does not want anyone else controlling you, your feelings, your attitudes, your thoughts, or any other aspect of your life. He wants you in control of yourself so that you can freely submit that life to Him. As a result, you get the life that is in Him, and that is the best life possible.
Self-control is the fruit of realizing the freedom that boundaries delineate. As Paul says in Galatians, “self-control” is one of the fruits of the Spirit of God. (Galatians 5:22,23) And, as he says at the end of verse 23, “against such things there is no law.” So, whoever has told you that your life is not under your control must not have read this passage.
If someone is trying to manipulate you—or in the Bible’s words, enslave you— through guilt, anger, fear, or the like, then they are out of bounds. They are crossing the boundary that God has established, and crossing a boundary in the Bible’s words is called trespassing. But, and here is the kicker to it all, if you are letting them control you, then you are responsible and are trespassing in the same way.
This is the freedom and the responsibility of boundaries. God has given you freedom, and commanded you to take control of the things that He has entrusted to you. Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” You are the one who must take control of the your life and exercise the freedom and responsibility that God has given you.
And remember, where He has given you control, He will hold you accountable. That is why there will ultimately be no excuse before Him. Just as He called Joshua to go and possess the land that He had secured for Israel, He calls you to go and possess the freedom for which Christ has secured for you. Taking control of your life is one of the ways that you begin to realize the freedom that He has for you. And living a life of freedom makes all the difference.