Christian Living

Take Control of Your Life

Hey guys,

This morning I was thinking about what things I have learned that I wish I’d learned sooner, and one of them is definitely to wake up and take control of my life.

I was your typical passive chick abdicating responsibility for my life to others. And I actually thought that was the right thing to do.

Question: As Christians, why do we think it’s good, Godly even, to let other people run our lives? Why is that projected as noble? Especially for females???

This is huge, guys, but I won’t get into it here. I’ve written a whole book series on the topic called Saints and Sinners (check it out here).

Something you guys may not know about me:

I could be an unfulfilled scientist in a lab right now and none of my books would exist!!!

Image result for scientistHere’s a story that anyone with traditional parents from another culture can relate to. My parents (God bless ’em) wanted me to be a scientist.

There was one problem: I hated science.

Actually, there were two problems. The second was: I got A’s in my GCSE science. I wished I’d failed. Because now, I’d proved to my parents that I could do it. So I had to do it. I chose chemistry and biology for my A levels and I went on to study molecular biology with genetics at university (it was as dismal as it sounds).

The funny thing is, the noble feeling we get from letting others make important decisions for us can only satisfy us temporarily. That ‘I’m so noble and obedient’ feeling isn’t enough to stuff down the truth that we know in our hearts. It isn’t enough to drown out God’s still small voice that is calling to us.

By age 19, I was pretty seriously depressed. Yes, not taking control of your life will eventually lead to depression or some sense that something is desperately wrong. Why? Because:

Other people rarely know why God created you. They don’t know what God wants to do with and through you!!!

Things got so bad for me internally that I really didn’t understand why I was alive. I’m shocked when I think about it now, but I would say over and over to myself ‘I wish I’d never been born’. Now, I love life so much and ‘being alive’ is often the first thing I write on my daily morning gratitude list. But is that any wonder, now that I know my purpose in life and have started taking responsibility?

Two things happened back then, when I was 19, that changed everything.

1. I got radically saved

I was one of those people who goes to church because I was expected to. But once I got to know God personally, for myself, He totally blew my mind and I couldn’t believe I’d ever not wanted Him.

2. I decided to start using my free time productively.

Image result for booksI figured that just because I spent most of my days in a classroom listening to lectures about DNA, RNA and metabolic pathways, that didn’t mean I couldn’t pursue things I enjoy in my own time.

If I’d had my way I would have studied English at university, mainly because I’ve always loved books. So I started writing my own book. This is a direct result of my getting saved, guys. Before becoming a Christian I’d tried many times to write, but couldn’t. I think I always knew on a subconscious level that I was a writer (the still small voice was speaking to me). But now I had a story to tell and a new Person in my life inspiring me (God, in case you missed the capital P in ‘person).

I have to vs. I want to vs. I get to

I can honestly say that these two decisions changed the trajectory of my life. They made me I stopped abdicating responsibility for my life and what I do to other people.

We’re not supposed to go through life constantly feeling out of control, helpless, powerless, trapped, depressed, or stressed out.

We are not supposed to be ruled by obligations, things we don’t really want to do but feel like we have to. Of course, some obligations are normal. They’re called responsibilities (and responsibilities can be fun guys. I have responsibilities to uphold regarding my family and I love that. Not all responsibilities are a drag).

But the whole of life is not supposed to be governed by ‘I have to.’ There should also be plenty of ‘I want to’ and ‘I get to’.

Unfortunately, we embrace and cater to the ‘I have to’s’ and tell ourselves that we can’t have the ‘I want to’s’.

Activity: List all your ‘I have to’s’ and next to each one write how often you engage in them. Which items on the list bring you stress or trapped feelings? Next, list all your ‘I want to’s’. Which of them has the most potential to change your life for the better? How often do you engage in them?

I think a question everyone ought to ask themselves from time to time (at least quarterly) is, “what am I doing and why am I doing it?”

Q) Are you in a 9 to 5 rather than taking the leap to start that business you’ve always wanted to start because society hails the stable 9 to 5 and it’s what everybody does?

Q) Are you in that particular job because it’s what your parents wanted you to do?

Q) Are you a nurse instead of a doctor because nice girls are nurses, not doctors?

You are the CEO of your life!!!

Yes, you. Can you tell I’m passionate about this? This passion comes from conversations I’ve had with people and emails I receive from people who feel stuck. God has given each of us a brain all to ourselves. And we’re supposed to use them to make decisions. You, as a Christian, desperately need to take control of your own life. Why? Because until you do so, other people will be in charge and God won’t be able to get a word in. He won’t be able to tell you what impact you’re supposed to have for Him. It isn’t Godly to abdicate responsibility to others, not even if they’re ‘Godly’ people.

Image result for babyGod says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Those people who want to tell you what to do with your life might be great people, sweet people, lovely people. But they just don’t know why you’re here. God knows. He made plans for you before you were even born. He’s the one you need to fix your eyes on and seek guidance from.

Why do we take control of our lives? 

We take control back from other people so that we can put it in God’s hands.

Simple as that.

‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me’

(Exodus 8:1).

We get free so that we can truly live lives of worship.

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Do you agree with me? Is there anything I’ve said that you see differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.