I am the kind of person who likes to control things. Whether it's my life or someone else's. That has proven to be a problem time and time again as I try to dictate the way my friends live their lives. Of course, it makes sense why they would not listen to me. Who wants to be told what to do? But whenever I see that someone is making a mistake that could be fixed or going down a path that will lead to no good whatsoever...I can't seem to stop myself from giving advice. What gets me is when very smart people do very dumb things. And then do those very dumb things...again. I'd like to say that I am a pretty logical person. If I do something and something bad happens because of it (a little thing called "cause and effect"), I try to avoid doing that something again. But I have seen my friends make a mistake and hurt themselves, and immediately pop back up and make the same mistake. It's almost like a cycle. "Be stupid; receive consequences; cry, get angry, or shut down; be stupid; receive consequences; cry, get angry, or shut down; be stupid....etc, etc." See what I mean? So to me, as a logical, common-sense kind of person, this seems pointless. And as a result, I try to run my friends' lives.
My dad and I had a conversation last night about this very subject. I was explaining to him how frustrated it makes me when I can clearly see what will happen to my friends, yet they don't believe me. Or, if they do, they simple don't care. He listened for a while and let me get it all out of my system. (Sometimes that's what you have to do with me. Hooray for my dad knowing that.) Then he pointed something out to me. Something that you would think, me being a logical person and all, I would have known. It isn't up to me to change my friends' hearts. Yes, I can try to influence them. Yes, I can tell them how I feel about the situation they are in...and what I would do. But I cannot expect them to listen to me...or to feel the same way that I feel. If they are doing something wrong, only God can change their hearts, and it is ridiculous for me to think that I could ever do so. (And if they are just being stupid, I just need to be there for them when their mistakes get them in trouble.)
What I have come up with is this: It won't happen immediately, because I still want to take control when it seems like no one is...but I am going to step back...not from my life, because I seem to be fine at letting go of that, but from my friends' lives...and let God be the one in charge. I'll just be the one to whom they know they can come when everything messes up. (Without saying "I told you so.") The best part of this is...God knows all that will happen in their lives...ever. So logically...the best person to take control of their lives isn't screwed up, sinful me...but the perfect, all-knowing God.