In this world and for many people it’s all about control. Not knowing who is in control or who has control can be unsettling. That leads us to wanting to take control of the situation or, at the very least, have the sense that we are in control. In fact, the sense of control can often be as powerful as the actual control. So strong is our belief that being in control eases tension in our lives that we at times lose control to obtain it. How ironic: trying to be in control often creates what we’re trying to avoid – “anxiety”.
The recent Barna survey about the Bible had an interesting angle about control. In particular, was the view of those that Barna identified as the Skeptic segment: Those that view the Bible merely as a book of teachings written by men containing stories and advice. According to the survey, the Skeptic group accounts for one in five American adults (19%). Barna asked a follow-up question to see if Skeptics hold hostile views towards the Bible – and they did. In fact, more than three-quarters of Skeptics (78%) are hostile toward the Bible and believe it “was written to control or manipulate other people”.
The Skeptics were right about one thing: The Bible is about control, but not in the way they perceive it. For Christians, it’s not about controlling others. Instead, the Bible, God’s Word, re-minds us that God brings control to our lives. It’s a control desperately needed for lives that often careen out of control.
In the face of adversity, for example, when events happen for which we have no control, God reminds us that our lives this side of heaven will be challenging. We are sinners living in a sinful world and as a result we “will have trouble.” But the Bible verse doesn’t stop there: “…take heart I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We are reminded during difficult times that we can rely on our Heavenly Father who out of nothing brought order and control through His creation. The seasons, the cycle of the moon and stars-the entire universe that operates in absolute control- is a perfect reminder that God is in control and has been since the beginning of time. God’s Word further offers hope and encouragement that we may be “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed…struck down, but not destroyed” (1 Corinthians 6) and that the God of all grace will “make us strong firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10) to be able to survive life’s seemingly out-of-control hardships.
In this world- and the next- it’s all about control, and thanks be to God…He’s got this.
Rev. Paul H. Wiegert
Director of Stephen Ministry
Taken from LCMS “Better Health” by Steve Gruewald – Editor