More often than not in the last week or so, I’ve felt out of control. Of my son, as he sprints around the house leaving utter destruction in his wake. And of myself, as I’ve found myself responding angrily to this behavior. It’s so frustrating to see myself continuing to be a bully when I want to be firm yet loving in my discipline. Jesus knows what I’m talking about. He said in Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” You may be thinking, “Alicia, your situation is a little different. You’re just being a grouch. You’re not faced with temptation here.” Is that true, though? Am I not giving into the temptation of my flesh to respond in the way that comes easiest? I certainly think I am.
So what’s a girl to do? Am I just doomed to fall into temptation at every turn? Absolutely not! Look again at the first sentence of Matthew 26:41. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” God’s Word tells me to commit myself to praying to resist temptation. Until I read this scripture in the light of my current frustration, it had never occurred to me to pray specifically for God to help me fight the temptation to respond inappropriately to my son.
The other thing God has revealed to me is that the feeling of being out of control is an indicator of my desire to be in control. If God is truly at the center of my life, I am to be in complete submission to Him. Jesus demonstrated this as he hung on the cross for my sins, telling God, “…yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Proverbs 3:5-6 says that we are to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Emphasis is mine.)
So again, I pray. I ask God to show me how to fully submit to Him in all my ways. I listen. And, the hardest step for me…I obey.