Writing is a habit. One I struggle to maintain.
This year one of the ways I plan to develop consistency is to blow up my planned, perfect blog and write for the sake of writing. I will write for the sake of developing the rhythm of habit. It’s not the smartest growth strategy, but growth follows habit.
With that in mind each Friday, I will participate in Five Minute Friday, a weekly writing exercise hosted by Kate Montaung.
Five Minute Friday is a group of bloggers and non-bloggers who free-write messy, unedited words for five minutes every Friday on a given prompt.
This week’s prompt is control.
I can’t control myself!
I couldn’t help it!
I had no control over (fill in the blank)!
I heard those sentences if not a million then at least ten thousand times as a mother. Of course, I said them too, but as a mother I leaned into these statements with one consistent truth:
You CAN control yourself.
This is a fact.
I often reminded my children that as Christians the Holy Spirit resides within them. That means they are capable of self-control.
The fruit of a Spirit-led life includes many things. One of those things is self-control. So, we reframed their statements into something accurate:
I’m going my way.
I am making a choice to live under my authority and not the Spirit within me.
With God’s help, I can control myself.
Those are hard truths, but they are the truth.
We all want control. Control of everything: We want to control outcomes. We want to control others. We want to control our environment.
But we were not created to be puppet masters, controlling everyone and everything. We were designed to live underneath a loving, wise Father who gifted us with His Spirit so that in all circumstances we can exercise self-control instead of others control.
Self-control allows us to live a life free of the need to control others. It is a life free of the need to control circumstances. It is one that trusts the One who is in control and that He is both good and just.
We often confuse control and self-control. Self-control is good and fruitful. Control is harmful and destructive. As we walk into this next week, my prayer is that each of us will choose the better path. The one controlled by the Spirit.