Love or angry thoughts, it’s a control thing

Posted on · Posted in Parenting, Sanctification

“Why did I say that? I love my kids.”

“I so sorry I said that, I didn’t mean it”

“He makes so angry, I can’t stop thinking about it.”

Sound familiar?

These statements indicate a control problem, but maybe not in the way you are thinking. You see, it is not about you being in control. Rather, it is about whom you choose to be in control of your life.

In Galatians 5 Paul tells you to walk by the Spirit, so that you will not gratify the desires of your flesh. If you desire the control of the Holy Spirit then you will eagerly pursue his fruit. (See Galatians 5:22-23) But if you listen to your flesh, God will not be honored. Your flesh is not interested in obeying God or helping you. Your flesh longs for the days when someone other than the Spirit of God was in control of your life. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Your flesh wants others to control you. The person who is insensitive dominates your thinking. Your ungrateful kids or spouse provides hours of self-pity. The so-called friend who is constantly irritating you keeps you awake at night. The political figure who is against everything you stand for makes you see red. When you reject the Spirit’s control you give all these people control of your life.

Is this what you really want? I didn’t think so.

Notice what Paul says:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16.

Here is are some examples of being controlled by others: when you are envious, proud, self-serving, easily angered, when you keep a record of wrongs. These are all things that love, the fruit of the Spirit, is not.

When you and I engage in these thoughts we have given control of our lives to someone other than the Holy Spirit. When my mind is constantly coming back to how irritating and wrong others are I am gratifying my flesh. I am refusing to be controlled by the Spirit.

Simply telling your children or yourself to STOP being angry is an exercise in futility. Until we live by the Spirit, others will be in control.

Love is all encompassing. We are to be constantly, consciously loving God all the time. We are to show love to others all the time. As God has loved us, we are to love him. This can only happen by the control of God’s Spirit.

Seek God, trust his Word, live by the power of his Spirit. This will keep others from controlling your life.

Love or anger, it’s a control thing.

Instructing a Child's Heart

Instructing a Child’s Heart


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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.