Don’t Lose Your Control

Your internet isn’t working. You have a flat tire on the way to work. The coworker that constantly complains gets the promotion. You drop the jar of spaghetti sauce and it breaks. Everything seems to be going out of control and you can’t stop any of it. But, there are some things you can control. Here are 5 things that you can control: your attitude, your words, your actions, your manners, and your effort.

You can control your attitude. No matter what is thrown at you, you decide how you react. You can lose your temper, yell, and pitch a fit. We have all seen an adult lose control of their attitude. Think about how ridiculous they look…think about how ridiculous you have looked when you have lost control of your attitude. Philippians 1:27 says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” The way you conduct yourself is a direct reflection of Christ. Stop and think about that before you yell at the person that doesn’t go immediately when the light turns green.

You can control your words. Taming the tongue is one of the hardest things a person can do. The words that come out of your mouth can shape the outcome of your entire day. We can use our words to bring blessings or curses; you have the choice. As Christians we are called to control the words that come out of our mouths. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is absolutely untrue. Words can make deep cuts and wounds that sometimes never heal. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) You, and only you, are in control of the words that come out of your mouth.

You can control your actions. Learning self-control is a valuable lesson and one that takes time. Having self-control, learning to control your actions, keeps you from being a slave to the things of this world. Just think of the commercials that are shown on television. Every commercial is geared towards food, lust, money, things that can test our self-control. Having control of your actions is at the very heart of living a righteous life. The world around us is watching us as Christians to see how we will react when things happen in our lives. It is important we react in a way that always brings glory to God. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

You can control your manners. Most of us are taught to be polite from a very young age. Hold the door open for the person behind you, say yes ma’am and no sir, please and thank you. Somewhere along the way, our sense of manners is left by the wayside sometimes. Being a nice person goes a long way. For one, it makes you happier and for the most part, the people around you will response positively to your niceness. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Good manners go a long way.

You can control your effort. We are called to let our light shine for Christ in all that we do. No matter where your job maybe, always give the maximum effort because we are working hard to show others Christ. The Bible tells us the importance of a solid work ethic and giving our all in everything that we do. Colossians 3:23-24 tell us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” We are fully in control of how much effort we give in this life. Work hard, work like you are working for Christ.

Remember the things you can control. While the world may be on fire around you and everything seems to be working against you, keep in mind that you can control your attitude, your words, your actions, your manners, and your efforts.

This week’s recipe is a yummy take on a classic cucumber salad. It’s summertime and fresh veggies are everywhere. This is a delicious way to use all of the wonderful vegetables of summer. Bring this to your next backyard BBQ and I promise, you won’t be taking home any leftovers.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)