The Perspective To See Benefits Of Difficulty

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Responsibility, Control, And When To Let Go

We humans have an uncanny ability. Somehow, we try to control too much and avoid taking responsibility for what we can control. We blame others when our responsibilities aren’t met while we try desperately to adopt the responsibilities of others. 

Innately, we recognize there is some balance to be found. There are things out of our control and things within them. An improper treatment of the balance leads to victim mentality and co-dependency. But a healthy understanding allows us to make our choices with confidence and let go of the things that do not belong to us. 

In the book of Corinthians, Paul advises us to examine ourselves. Or in other words, to test ourselves. Yet, many times we want to control or examine others, isn’t that right? Paul says, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” 

We can control three things in this world. Our attitude/perspective, our actions, and whom we trust. That’s it. We get to choose for just one person out of the billions on this planet.

By naming and focusing our attention on these three things, we can free ourselves from wasting time trying to exploit all of the factors, people, and circumstances that will stubbornly refuse our efforts to control them.

In the same vein, taking ownership of these three things will feed the longing inside of us to participate, and take meaningful action. It’s not that we should do nothing. There is danger on that side of the spectrum too. We should do what we are meant to do. Nothing less and nothing more. There’s a truthful saying out there that goes like this, “Let go, and let God.” This is appropriate for all we don’t control, which is most of life. But with respect to the things we do control, Paul exhorts us to take responsibility, to carry our own load

Carrying our own load brings fulfillment. It is a way to contribute, to make a difference. Letting go of all we don’t control is a way to avoid frustration. Seeing reality as it actually is provides a firm foundation for successful living. 

Listen to “Psalm 8” by David Dunn