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Here are some random thoughts to prepare for the new year….
I go in and out of admitting whether or not I am a control freak. Sometimes I am and sometimes I am not. Jesus does seem to make it clear that we are to exercise self-control. Self-control would be things like being careful to observe all Jesus commanded us to do. These commands include loving God, loving your neighbor, loving your enemy, abiding in the vine, etc. However, any attempt to control (1) others, (2) life circumstances or (3) results is out! Let’s examine each one that is out of our control.
The first natural tendency for control freaks is controlling others. There is an interchange between Jesus and Peter at the end of John’s Gospel, where Jesus makes it quite clear that what others do is none of your business. And, you certainly can’t control them. “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!”
Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper. So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” (Matthew 21:18-22) In other words, Peter, John is none of your business.
Your primary business is YOU and your response in focusing and following after Jesus. Jesus actually makes it emphatic. He says, “You, on your part, pay attention to following me!”