“He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6 NKJV
Without self-control we end up hurting ourselves. But when we become overly controlling of ourselves or others, it’s an indication that we’re not trusting God enough. In the final analysis God alone determines our outcomes. So: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (vv. 5-6 NKJV). If you find yourself trying to control every detail and aspect of your life, try using these strategies for developing the right mindset: (1) Understand that you are not an independent, self-sufficient being. “We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3). Sheep cannot take care of themselves; they need the shepherd to feed them, lead them, and protect them. Getting the idea? (2) When the unexpected happens, practice responding calmly. God is never taken by surprise. What seems like a crisis is often an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His love and care for you. (3) Focus on the internal and leave the external to God. Once you settle within yourself that you cannot control most external happenings but only your internal response to them, you’ll be able to stop stressing out over the uncontrollable and the inevitable.
Take a deep breath to slow the flow of adrenaline, send up a silent prayer, then turn the problem over to God. Realize that His plans for your life have not been derailed. “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16 NLT). Stop trying to control everything.