The Grace To Let Others Be

Do you need to fire yourself over seeking control over another person’s life?

Being the parents of two teenagers, I certainly do.

This morning, as I drove through the snowy hills of my town, I cried out to Jesus to free me from this idol of control.  Make no mistake: attempting to control things that are not yours to control IS an idol, whether it is another person, a circumstance, or an outcome. It is dethroning Jesus’ rightful place as ruler of your heart and life and placing yourself there instead, thinking that you know best. And that is a very dangerous (and heartbreakingly fruitless) place to be.

Jesus always answers our heart cries.

He answered mine this morning by causing me to be in the car at just the right time to hear a most important message from Chuck Swindoll of Insight For Living. His message was entitled The Grace To Let Others Be.

As soon as I got home, I logged on to listen to it again and this time I took notes. It was such a source of comfort and joy to me, so I wanted to share it with you, in the event that you are struggling with these things too. So here goes. Read and be blessed. (His text is Romans 14).

Believing in grace is one thing: living it is another.

1.Accepting others AS THEY ARE is the key to letting them be

The key here is the word “accept.” What we often demand from others is: ‘Feel as I feel and think as I think.” We are all individuals. You are not me. You’re you.

2. Releasing others allows the Lord to dictate the details of their lives.

My advice to you who believe you know God’s will for someone else’s life is that you BACK OFF. Lighten up. Save your breath. Stop trying to make the other person’s mind up. Don’t attempt to manipulate. Quit judging. You have every right not to agree. But put an end to playing king of the mountain. It is not a fun game. Don’t assume that your opinion is the correct one.

Our problem occurs when we get our eyes off Christ and get them on ourselves or others. Stop that. Quit going there. It’s a bad idea. It always leads down a wrong path.

3. Freeing others means we never assume a role we are not qualified to fill.

Why aren’t we qualified to fill it? 1) We don’t have all the facts. 2) We’re unable to know another’s true motive. Don’t think you know it. You don’t. You’re finite. You don’t know the big picture. You don’t know the whole background on the whole story. Only Christ knows that. You, yourself are inconsistent and imperfect. If we looked at you long enough, we would find 10 things right away that are wrong in your life. You’re not qualified. Grace flows freer when we let God be God and leave the striving to Him.

You and I already have a full time job: keeping up with the person we see everyday in the mirror. Just take care of you.

There are 3 actions to take to carry this all out:

1) Refocus  your life on things that encourage harmony and peace. Ask: ‘Will this build up? Is this good? Is this best?’

2)Remember that sabotaging saints hurts God’s work. When you undercut His saints, you hurt His work. (Ro. 14:20)

3) Refuse to play God in anyone else’s life. You are not in charge of others. I will answer for me. I will not answer for you. Let people go.

To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring; it means, ‘I can’t do it for someone else.’
To let go is not to cut myself off; it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness which means the outcome isn’t in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another; I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for but to care about.
To let go is not to fix but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge but to allow another human being to be himself or herself.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to affect their own outcome before God.
To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit others to face reality.
To let go is not to deny but to accept.
To let go is not to regret the past but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more. (Anonymous)

He alone is in full control.

Chuck ended with this prayer: “Thank You for your love and your kindness, which always disarms us. Thank You for your grace. Thank You for your care, which is enormous, consistent, and constant. Thank You for leaving the angelic throne room of Heaven to come to an ugly, filthy cross to die for our sins. Thank You for stooping for people like us; otherwise we would never know You. Now we do. Amen.”

Fire yourself today from trying to control things that are out of your control.

I did.

And peace like a river flooded my soul.

May it be the same for you.



Filed under Devotions

3 responses to “The Grace To Let Others Be

  1. LOVE this! Especially this:

    Remember that sabotaging saints hurts God’s work. When you undercut His saints, you hurt His work. (Ro. 14:20)

  2. Su

    Thanks, Susan. This is very thought provoking. And thanks for sharing your experience.

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