by Neil Anderson
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding
When a person’s self-worth or success hinges on the achievement of a goal which can be blocked or which is uncertain or impossible, how will he respond to those who frustrate his goals? Often he will attempt to control or manipulate the people or circumstances who stand between him and his success.
For example, a pastor’s goal is to have the finest youth ministry in the community. But one of his board members blocks his goal by insisting that a music ministry is more important. Every attempt by the pastor to hire a youth pastor is vetoed by the influential board member who wants to hire a music director first. The pastor wrongly perceives that his sense of worth and success in ministry is on the line. So he shifts into a power mode to push the stumbling block out of the way. He looks for a way to change the opposition’s mind or remove him from the board because he believes that his success in ministry is dependent on reaching his goal of a great youth ministry.
A mother believes that her self-worth is dependent on her children behaving in a certain way. Her goal is to raise perfect little Christians who will become pastors or missionaries. But as the children reach their teen years and begin to express their independence, their behavior doesn’t always match their mother’s ideal. So instead of helping them grow through adolescence and releasing them into adulthood, she tries to control them.
It is not hard to understand why people try to control others. They believe that their worth is dependent on other people and circumstances. This is a false belief as evidenced by the fact that the most insecure people you will ever meet are manipulators and controllers of others. But people who are secure in their identity in Christ don’t need to control others. Their goal is to be the leader, spouse, parent or employee that God wants them to be because nothing can keep them from being what God wants them to be but themselves.
Prayer: Lord, I affirm that my worth is based on my relationship with You and that I am free to become the person You want me to be.