#2 Nor do I wish to be.
"If I could just get my diet under control I think I would feel a lot better."
"If I could just get the mess under control I think my home would be a happier place."
"If I could just get my children under control then I wouldn't have to yell and fuss at them so much."
These are thoughts I've had in one way or another over the years.
I don't think I'm alone in this.
When I'm succeeding at any one of these points I do feel at peace...for a very short while.
When it all comes crashing down again it's like I can feel the darkness of defeat creeping in. I don't know if it's what the beginning of depression feels like or not. (See #1.) I just know that I don't like it.
These times when I realize (or remember) that I actually have no control can either be depressing or a relief...it depends on my response.
If I let the darkness continue to creep in, if I keep fighting for control on my own, living by man-made rules and procedures, I will always lose. Then I can't imagine anything other than depression taking over.
20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence (Colossians 2:20-23).
If I turn to God, praying, repenting, reading His Word, that's when I have light. It has to be a lifestyle. I have to let the Holy Spirit reign, and not try to control things myself.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (Galatians 5:16-17).
So should I not even try to eat right, clean my house, or discipline my children. Um, no. I definitely should do these things. I just can't rely on them to bring me peace and joy. Only the Lord can give that.
On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. 10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers (1 Timothy 4:7-10).
Hope in God.
Die to Self.
(Thanks to my Bible study group for encouraging me in the Word. :) God's good.)