February 24, 2012 - Radical Hope

How many times do we take control over difficult situations that confront us?

I expect the answer would be—many. After all, we are taught from an early age to take charge and be the boss! The problem with that philosophy is—what happens when we can’t?

More importantly, what happens when we shouldn’t? As a father and husband, I have faced many challenges in this arena. Husbands are supposed to protect their wives and children at all costs—to provide for them, to encourage them, to keep them from harm and be their leader.

We are wired to fix things—to come to the rescue—to listen to a problem, figure out a solution, and make it go away.

Many women, especially moms face similar challenges as they nurture and raise their children, doing their best to keep them from falling prey to harmful situations.

But sometimes when we jump in to solve a problem and rescue those we love, we may be falling short of God’s plan. In fact, before we jump in with both feet, we may need to ask ourselves if perhaps we are doing so because we don’t really trust God—it’s a fair question.

One profound truth in the universe is one that is not universally adopted—Jesus is Lord. Not only is He Lord of my life, He is Lord of all—whether we believe it or not. Accepting that Jesus is Lord has no bearing on if He is or is not Lord. The truth stands alone.

Before we are ever confronted with take-charge situations, it may be prudent to ask ourselves a few questions:

  • Is this my arena?
    • Am I even supposed to be in charge? Does the problem involve my spouse or children? Would I normally be in charge of this or am I stepping into someone else’s sandbox?
  • Do I know better?
    • God speaks to our hearts about what is wrong and what is right. Am I listening to Him or ignoring Him out of convenience or selfish motives?
  • Am I usurping authority?
    • If this is my spouse’s territory, I need to back off and let him/her handle it. Taking over can cause more harm than good, and undermine their ability to lead. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we should take over.
  • What am I hoping to gain?
    • There is always a motive for taking charge—what is mine? Do I personally benefit from it at the expense of others? This is an important question, because it is always wrong to do so.
  • Who is Lord?
    • We must be on our guard and be honest. If we are not lifting up Jesus as Lord, we are electing a Secret King—perhaps money, ambition, pride or any motive that puts us out front, and placing it in charge. We pretend it’s okay with God—it never is. This question is the most critical.

Thinking through these questions and the issues they address helps us to understand where and when we are to step up to the plate, and perhaps more importantly—when not to.