Five Minute Friday
Q: What is Five Minute Friday?
A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: CONTROL
It’s sad really. Diabolical in fact!
The way some people want to control you. Control your behaviour. Control your clothing and the way you dress. Control how you treat others. Control your destiny.
And do they want to control you for your own good? No siree! They want to control you for their ulterior motives. Are they seeking to control you because they love you and have your best interests at heart? No way! They care only about themselves.
Habitual manipulators seek to control you for many reasons. Because they want you to fear them. Because they wish to alienate you. Because they secretly, or openly despise you. Because they seek to hurt you. Because they have such a low self-esteem that the only way they can feel good about themselves, or assert themselves, is to undermine you, to control you.
And so they do, or think they do. But they have left one important factor out of the equation. One very BIG factor. God. God Almighty! The one who created heaven and earth. The one who crafted mankind and breathed life into their souls. They have forgotten that it is God’s breath in their nostrils. God, who upholds this world with the word of his power. This God, this God of gods, is the one in ultimate control.
END OF 5MINS
Now, isn’t it ironic that the one who actually has supreme power, control of all that happens both in heaven and on earth, is not so precious about it? Isn’t it staggering to realise that Jesus, equal member of the triune Godhead, decided he was not going to cling to control, to the authority, majesty and power he once held in heaven, in order that he might come down to earth, identify with the sin and frailties of humankind and lay down his glorious, sinless life, so that whosoever wills, may grasp the opportunity to become born-again in a new kingdom, with a new status, subject to new rules?
How many despots do you know or have heard of, who willingly relinquish power? How many dictators do you know, who graciously abdicate their place on the coveted seat of authority and power?
And why is it that if you do not agree with said dictator’s views then bombs, or the threat of decapitation, or torture, is their only response? Terrorism, not love, is their byword, their fear-inducing catchphrase.
Every day we hear, read about and see, heart-breaking scenarios of man’s beastly attempt to control others, almost as a matter of course. It is not uncommon to discover living amongst us in our nation, within our neighbourhoods, or even in our own families, a victim of a wife/husband beater, a survivor of human rights atrocities, or a reviled asylum seeker. These people are subject to perpetual ill-treatment, to constant violation. Many are helpless prey, caught in the snare of Satan’s demonic control.
I’m positive that practically every single one of us reading this post would strenuously condemn the attitudes and actions of abusers, bigots, despots or terrorists. And yet….
Yet, I wonder whether we are sometimes guilty of similar sins (albeit on a lower level). Do we use our influence in a way that seeks to control or marginalise others—at work, at church, at home? Do we boycott those we don’t like or disagree with? Do we draw others into our circles of reproach? Do we woo family and friends to critique parties and gossip sessions and send folks to Coventry, in order to hammer home our message?—obey, or you’ll pay!
If I’m honest, it’s easy to nit-pick, or magnify the faults and failings of others, particularly those who have offended me, or blackballed me in some way, or who don’t live according to my standards—and not realise that whilst condemning, criticising or judging others, those same imperfections which I self-righteously seek to highlight, exist in some measure in my own life.
As Jesus so humorously put it, dare we pass judgment on, or seek to address the misdeeds of others when there is a massive log in our eye, blinding us to our own faults?
And as Paul shrewdly observes:
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (Romans 2:1 NKJV)
Does that mean we should never speak out against wrong-doing, or seek to encourage or correct others? No! That’s not what I’m saying. But, as followers of Christ, and as Christian bloggers seeking to influence others, we should take note of Paul’s following query:
You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? (Romans 2:21 NKJV).
His question certainly provides food for thought—and perhaps occasion for examining our own lives—don’t you think?
Women of Warfare followers and visitors, in our bid to influence, let us be wary of creating cliques and clubs, rather than communities. Let’s be careful not to marginalise or control others. And above all, let’s share what we have to say, or feel we need to say, in a spirit of true humility.
Have a blessed and victorious week!
PS: The linkup for this prompt has now closed.