Does your serenity, peace of mind, and joy depend upon a choice another person makes?
Think of your favorite person. They have good points and faults. You don’t have problems with their strengths, but when they won’t do something that’s important to you, you have a choice to make. One of your options is to resent them, become bitter, and/or dwell on the fact that there’s some little thing this person isn’t doing that you want them to do, and it can ruin your relationship.
Dr. S. I. McMillian, a physician, in his book “None of These Diseases,” says, “The moment I start hating a man, I become his slave.”
Has this happened to you? A person you dislike begins to control your work time, pleasure time, sleep time, etc., because they’re controlling your thoughts. If you want to be free, and not be a slave to what others do, you need to be happily aware of the whole person, including his strong points and his weak points.
King Solomon must have had a similar experience, for he wrote in Proverbs 15:17, “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred” (NIV).
The Apostle Paul, trying to be helpful to his friends, the Corinthians, said to them, “I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal” (1 Corinthians 3:1 KJV). In verse 3, he describes what he means, “Is there envying?” That is, if you’re annoyed, disgruntled and uncomfortable over somebody else’s success and opportunities, and their wealth, and you can’t enjoy these folks because you envy them, that’s carnality. Carnal behavior also displays itself through arguing, quarrelling, striving, divisions, and unresolved conflicts.
We need to live our lives “spiritually” – as men and women who have at our fingertips, in our inner lives, the resources of God.
Maybe you’re crying out to God for help, and He doesn’t seem to hear you.
Isaiah 59:1-2 says “The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is his ear heavy, that it cannot hear” (KJV). He does hear you!
Approach God, not in terms of telling Him about someone else, but in terms of yourself.
Isaiah 53:6 (KJV) says “All we like sheep have gone astray; and we have turned everyone to his own way.” Do things always have to be your way? The remainder of this verse says “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus has paid for our selfishness and desire to always have life on our terms.
Each person needs to come face-to-face with the fact that each one of us has a tendency to want our own way. And the only way to deal with that tendency is to come to Jesus Christ. That’s why we need a Savior – to be saved from ourselves, from having our own way.
Take a step . . .
If you haven’t already done so, invite Jesus Christ to come into your life as your Savior. Confess wanting to have things your own way, asking God to forgive you. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to give you the power to let go of your tendency to want your own way.
[This summary is from Dr. Brandt’s message A Free Spirit. Click here to listen to the audio or read the transcript.]