Control: (v) to exercise restraining or directing influence over
(n) power or authority to guide or manage
How many times have you seen something along the lines of this: “Take control of your…life, finaces, relationships, bills, waistline, family, hair, dog, ect!”? We live in a society that is all about YOU having EXCLUSIVE and DIRECT control over EVERY aspect of YOUR life. It is your life after all, and the only one you’ll get, so why shouldn’t you throttle it with your bare hands, twisting every situation into exactly what you want to make yourself happy and satisfied?
In the words of the dastardly Jafar, “The universe is mine to command! To control!”
We all saw how fabulously that worked out for him.
But as Christians, haven’t we given up our control? Haven’t we put our trust in Jesus Christ, and sworn to do anything and everything that He asks? How many times have we sang:
“Wherever He leads I’ll go…”
“I surrender all…”
And countless other songs that pledge with all of our hearts to give up everything and do only what Jesus would have us to do.
But when we’re asked to give up some simple pleasure in life, we throw ourselves into intellectual tantrums that rival that of the two year old screaming for candy in Walmart.
For example: Alcohol.
We probably have a chapel over alcohol at least once a semester here at Grace University. It basically consists of this: “If you’re 21, you can drink, but don’t get drunk. However, while you’re enrolled at Grace, we don’t want you to drink at all. So we ask you to sign a contract that says you won’t.” Pretty simple. For the 4 or 5 (or 6 or 7) years that you attend Grace, don’t drink alcohol. It shouldn’t be that hard, since most of Grace’s students are between 18 and 20 when they enroll, and legally should not have had alcohol at that point.
And of course, there are the legalist who will rationalize, “Well, during Christmas break and summer, I’m not technically enrolled at Grace, so I can drink.”
Here’s what I think: Is it really that big of a deal? Do you really need to drink? No. Do you want to? Yes. Why? Various reasons:
“I enjoy the taste.”
“It goes well with this certain dish.”
“I’m a social drinker.”
These are not compelling enough arguments to justify drinking despite signing a contract that says you won’t.
“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37
I’m not saying that no one should drink ever. What I’m saying is, you said you wouldn’t so keep your word. Give up this little bit of control over your life for this short time.
And don’t hide behind the mask of “Christian liberty” to justify your doing whatever you want without regard to others.