Morning Encouragement – The Things We Cannot Control

Morning Encouragement

Good morning,
While working in the yard removing dead branches from the trees, I noticed one tree had several dead branches way up in trunk. When I looked at the branches trying to figure out how I would get those branches down, a couple ideas came to mind how to approach the problem: 
1.    I could have attempted to climb up in the tree and cut them down however, I would probably fall out of the tree or would need someone to come and get the nut out of the tree. 
2.    Cut the tree down. The problem is that I would have a bigger mess to clean up. 
3.    Get a longer stick with a saw at the end of it. The problem is that I might cut off the wrong branch inadvertently or, cut off the good with the bad.
4.    Ignore them and wait until the next storm to blow through. The problem is, I would have to pick them up from the ground so that they wouldn’t get caught up in the lawn mower.
As I considered the dilemma, the thought crossed my mind about things we have no control over – like the actions and/or the behaviors of other people. God gives us the responsibility for controlling ourselves, our attitudes, behaviors, words, and actions (Galatians 5:16). This does not diminish the fact that the actions of others will affect us at some point in time; problem do not just mysteriously disappear because we ignore them. When we see people about to make a mistake or living foolishly, we want to step in and abruptly stop them by force. Yet, just as the felled tree, our actions could make a mess so big it would take years to clean up if ever; plus, you could end up taking out the good with the bad as the parable of the man and the fig tree brings out (Luke 16:3-8).
14You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. 
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. 
16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 AMP)
Father,
  You give us the command, the power, and the authority to live for you all of the days of our life despite the ugliness of the world. We have no power to change another person’s life until he or she is willing to do that themselves. By our living for you, not as a show for the world but an inward commitment to you, you lift us up as an example for the world. We need the light in our world or, it will become cold and meaningless once again (Genesis 1:1); yet, help us to use the light wisely so that we can pass down the same gift we received with the same heart and the same love (John 17).
May your day be blessed
Mike

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