What Controls You?

March 28, 2011
by Martin Wiles

Romans 6:12 – Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. (NLT)

Controlling and controlled — both have the same root word, but entirely different results. Type A personalities are usually the first and Type B the latter. I've known both in my lifetime, and I'm not sure which I would rather be. My personality prods me toward the first, and being an old hippie, I balk at experiencing the latter.

A controlling person micromanages and wants things their way. After all, comfortableness comes only when they are in control. A controlled person lets others make decisions and takes little responsibility. Letting others worry and experience anxiety is quite acceptable to them. They plan on remaining alive after the controller has died from a heart attack or stroke.

The apostle Paul issues quite a challenge in today's verse, not to let sin and lustful desires control us. What he states is not profoundly theological, but the test is intensely weighty. My father introduced me to Christ when I was nine. At fifty, I'm still struggling with Paul's admonition. The temptations have not changed much, but my success rate is somewhat higher.

To what do I attribute my sporadic success? I stopped trying to be the winner and learned to let Christ be the victor through me. I discovered that only He had the power to lead me into battle with any hope of triumph.

If sin is not going to control me, then something else must. I discovered that it helps tremendously to replace sinful habits with godly practices. I can complain or pray. I can gossip or be a person of few words. I can depend on substances to help me face life or feed on God's Word. I can choose salty friends or church mice.

Prayer: God, help us to be controlled by things that will root out sinful practices in our lives. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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