When does our selfish desire to control inhibit us from actually being a vessel for others to experience healing in Jesus?
// "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves..." -Philippians 2:3-4//
Where are my type-A controlling folks? Show of hands?
Ok, good, I'm not the only one, and neither are you.
But let me tell you one way I've found this to be detrimental to building deeper relationships with those God blesses me to walk through life with:
I desire to control their spiritual growth by the discernment God gives me.
After all, if He gives me discernment in a situation, am I not to act on that knowledge?
Isn't it the 'right' thing to tell them why they're wrong and how to make it right?
Isn't that what a good friend does?
Well, that logic might make sense, but those of us who have tried it more than once probably have more stories of this failing than succeeding at bringing those we walk with around to Jesus on their struggles.
In fact, if it were that easy, I would debate we don't have a need for His work on the cross or the Holy Spirit now in our lives. We would've gotten everyone else together under the old covenant and been just fine.
Which probably means I would've been a Pharisee. Kind of hard to admit, but if we're being honest, I'm a bit more like them and Peter than John.
So what should we do? Why would God give us insight into others' hurts and growth if we aren't the one to fix them?
Well first, we need to accept that Holy Spirit is the one to fix others, not us. We can't even fix ourselves. How can we try to make someone else righteous?
And then we need to choose to give it over to Him.
We need to pray.
I've found that when I see someone going down a path they shouldn't, 9/10 times it isn't for me to explain, but rather to pray to God for the Holy Spirit to work on them. For them to be open to His work.
You see, when we enter this order we let God be God and we focus on being a loving brother or sister who is interceding on behalf of their brothers and sisters. We remove the burden of having to 'fix' others.
Because I don't know about you, but when I carry that burden, and it never works, I always feel like a failure. I get a superman complex.
Sometimes, maybe 1/10 times, I need to say something. And I will. But when I do, it is in love, with more grace than I think it needs, and a soft heart.
But ultimately, when we try to fix others instead of intercede, we are showing we don't trust others with Jesus. We don't trust Him to do His work, the same work He has been doing in them and is doing in us.
We call God a liar.
We know He isn't, but we go through the motions without intentionally pausing to reset our actions so they fall in line with our theology.
So the next time a friend is on your mind, or you see them making a bad decision, or you feel judgment coming into your heart, I urge you to pray. Prayer is a powerful thing, and the same God who made the entire world can handle one of His creations just fine.