Updated: Aug 27, 2020

It's safe to say there have been many things around us the past few months that have been entirely out of our control—leaving some of us feeling hopeless. Most people don't crave the unknown. We like to know what's going to happen next. But unfortunately in life, there's a lot of unknown.

What other people do or say is out of our control. The choices they make or how they feel is out of our control. And sometimes, we tend to try to "help" others by controlling what they say. But what we're really doing is asking them to think, say, or do exactly as we do because, in our mind, we're the only ones that could possibly be right. Yeah, we all do it! Don't deny it!

But in case you didn't know, not everybody thinks like you do, and guess what? That's OK. You don't always have to agree with everybody. But as Christians, we are called to love them regardless of whether they agree with you.

And although you can't control what other people do...

you can control what you do.

How you respond, your words and behavior is, in fact, your responsibility!

So, here is a list of reminders of the things you can control!

1) The amount of effort you put in is in your control

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

-2 Peter 1:5-10

Your flesh will tell you that you can't change, that you can't do it, that you shouldn't try to read your bible or get healthy because you won't stick to it anyway.

But whatever you don't change, you are choosing.

So, choose to live a life effective and fruitful for the kingdom of God.

"A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

- Galatians 6: 7-9

I love this because we live in a culture of instant. And we think if we start something new in a week or even days, we should see change!

But it says, "if" we don't give up, we will reap a harvest.

Which means it's in our control to keep going!

So, whatever it is you started and didn't finish, here is your reminder to keep going! Don't give up! And at the proper time, you will reap a harvest.

But the choice is yours.

2) How you handle your feelings is in your control

The way you respond to your emotions matters.

"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." - Proverbs 25:28

Recognize your feelings for what they are... feelings!

They are not facts, and they are not the truth.

Learning how to control your emotions will allow you to better respond out of your spirit and not your flesh.

God made our emotions for a reason. They are not evil, but the negative thoughts that you dwell on can control you. This is why recognizing your feelings is so essential. It allows you to know who really holds the truth.

Which leads me to my next point!

3) How you treat others is in your control

If you know how to control your emotions, you'll naturally know how to treat others.

Why? Because the more you understand yourself, the better you can understand others.

Matthew 22:39 says, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." So, if you don't first love yourself, how can you truly show love to someone else?

You have the choice to control how you want to treat those around you.

And sometimes it's hard. People can be mean and hurtful.

But let me tell you when you're covered in the armor of God. No weapon formed against you will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17) There will be no word of hate thrown at you that the Lord has not already shielded with His truth.

Allowing you to have the perfect opportunity for you to show grace to somebody who may never know grace.

Having control of your emotions might allow somebody else to recognize they need to control theirs.

4) How you take care of yourself is in your control

Breathe, take time to pray and meditate on his word.

Fill yourself up first before trying to help other people.

When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendants always give you this elaborate demo of putting on your oxygen mask. And it's always quickly followed by a video saying to make sure you put yours on first before helping others. Why? Because you can't help other people if you're the one running out of oxygen.

Take care of yourself first.

Encourage yourself. Say positive affirmations over you.

Look in the mirror and say, "I love you."

Which, to some, may sound so strange. But by just speaking it out loud gives the enemy less opportunity to speak lies over you.

Taking care of yourself means aligning your mind, body, and spirit with the Lord. And when you do, you'll realize that by taking care of your own needs, you'll be able to help other people better.

Let's take back control!

-Put in every effort to do what the enemy is telling you that you can't do.

-Take control of your emotions and the way you love other people.

-Allow yourself to breathe and take care of your mental, emotional, and physical needs.

2020 may be a crazy year of things out of our control. But when we walk with Jesus, we know who's really in control!

He goes before us!

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10


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Blog: WHAT'S IN OUR CONTROL IN 2020 is written by The Avenue

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