The principle of taking back control is integral to overcoming any issue that seems to loom larger than life. The interesting part of the principle, though, is to then give up control.
Weight, of course, is one issue I discuss a lot since that was and still is an issue I am very aware of. Even though I’ve lost 264 pounds, I am always only one cookie away from gaining it all back. Because for me, one cookie leads to thousands more.
Any addiction, bad habit or negative emotion, though, does feel overwhelming especially if we feel we can do nothing about it.
It’s almost like the bully in grade school that won’t leave us alone. We can try running and hiding from him, but he will never really leave us alone until we learn to turn and face him.
What holds us back from doing that is always fear. Fear of being pummeled to death. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of things getting worse. So we just continue to be defeated.
In essence, defeat has become our comfort zone.
To stop the bully, the bad habit, the negative emotion, the addictive lifestyle only one thing has to happen. We have to want change more than what has become an uncomfortable comfort.
Change doesn’t come easy for many of us because by definition it involves doing something different.
Instead of yelling at our spouse, we may need to talk things through before they get overheated. Instead of reaching for the remote, we need to make a conscious choice to go clean the kitchen.
Instead of taking a drink of alcohol at a party, we need to choose a glass of tea or water. Instead of reaching for that candy bar during break, we need to have planned ahead and brought fruit.
Instead of taking the daily harassment from the bully, we need to stand up to him and tell him we will not give him our lunch money and threaten to turn him in if he continues to bully us. Might it result in further difficulty? It might. However, if we follow through and turn him in things will eventually change especially if we continue turning him in and continue telling our parents what is going on.
The principle at work here is to take back control of who we are and what we want in life. To do that, we have to first know what we want in the specific situation.
Do we want to be the angry hostile spouse or do we want to be the spouse who listens and negotiates a better environment? Do we want a house that is continually a mess or do we want to have one we can be proud of.
Do we want to pass out every night drunk not remembering what we did or said to our children or do we want to be an involved, loving parent. Do we want to weigh 430 pounds or do we want to live free and healthy?
The problem is most of the time we want both. However, taking back control means we have to choose and in that choice we take back control because after that everything we do must be in concert with our choice.
It really is your life and you really can control it by every decision you make. Many times, though, we want to blame it on someone else and not make the hard decisions.
The control we take back, we then must lay completely at the feet of Jesus or we will never really be in control. It’s when we think we have it all figured out that our problems come crashing down on us once again. He wants us to give Him every piece of our life so He can give back to us a life worth living and fighting for.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”1
Well now, it’s really not that hard of a decision once you put it that way.
1 Dueteronomy 30:19 NLT
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.