In searching the Scriptures, I found out some interesting guidelines on the topic.
The word control is found 339 times in the various versions of the Bible. Many of the verses, especially in the Old Testament, refer to the conquering of land (1Sam 23:4) or ‘being under’ or ‘delivered from’ the control of an evil ruler (2Sam 18:31). God too takes control of His servants, such as in the case of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 11:5). The word control also shows up in relation to the devil, when he is allowed to take over the circumstances in Job’s life (book of Job).
In this post, the type of control I am interested is the one that relates to personal behavior and attitude towards oneself and others. What I found enlightening was the number of times the Scriptures encourage us to take control…. of ourselves! Yes, we are asked to control our temper, our tongue and the words that comes out of our mouth.
Proverbs 29:11 “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back”
James 1:19 “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger”
Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles”
Psalm 39:1 “I said, I will give attention to my ways, so that my tongue may do no wrong; I will keep my mouth under control, while the sinner is before me”
Proverbs 16:23 “A wise person’s thoughts control his words, and his speech promotes instruc
Equally as enlightening was the silence of the Scriptures in regards to controlling others, events or circumstances. I was not able to find a single verse that directed me to take control of how others think, what they say, or how they conduct their lives (correct me if wrong though). Additionally, I was not able to find Scriptures teaching me about arranging/rearranging events to favor me and manipulating circumstances to fulfill my wishes & dreams. What I did find instead are countless verses that invite me to trust Him with the needs in my life and to not be anxious for anything!
Matthew 6:25, 32, 33 “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on….your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
To sum it up, let us (and especially me) focus on keeping control of our moods and our mouth. By ensuring we keep quiet when we should, talk when necessary, measure our words before they come out, we prevent ‘out of control’ situations, i.e. chaos and strife. Let us have faith in Him with the things we want to control but should not. If the expected phone call isn’t coming in, the job offer doesn’t present itself, or the finances don’t seem to be covering your expenses, let’s stop pushing the closed doors and learn the necessary lessons from our hardships. Thankfully, He is here waiting for us to trust in Him. so let us do that instead!