Have you ever walked a dog? What helped you control the dog? Was the dog hard to control or easy to control?
Here’s how the dictionary defines control: the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.
Every single person is controlled by something. We are all “influenced or directed” by someone or something. And we all want to control our own lives don’t we? Have you ever told your parents that you wouldn’t obey them? Have you yelled NO! when they asked you to do something? Have you ever said “you’re not the boss of me” to someone when they told you what to do? Have you ever just ignored your teacher?
We all have. Why? Because we all have selfish sin inside of us that makes us want to control our own lives.
But listen to what the Apostle Paul says should control us:
2 Corinthians 5:14-15. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Paul says that he is controlled by Christ’s love. When someone walks a dog they might use a leash to control them or maybe a set of commands that tell the dog where she can or cannot go. Jesus’ love is our leash. Jesus’ love is our new set of commands that tell us what we should and shouldn’t do. Is it loving and kind? Does it help the other person?
Yes – then do it.
No – then don’t do it?
Look at what Paul says next – “those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
To be a Christian is to be perfectly loved by God no matter what. But then it is also to live for Jesus and to love like Jesus no matter what. To put others first ahead of ourselves. To stop living for our own control and our own selfish desires, and instead, to always choose what will help the people around us first.
Will we always get this right? Will we always love like Jesus? Nope. So praise God that Jesus “died and was raised for our sake.” His death covers all our failings. His love is so big it covers up all our selfishness.
You see, we weren’t made to control our own lives. We were made to let Jesus’ love control us. And when you put Jesus and others first your life will have the purpose and joy that God always wanted for you.
Because of Jesus his love controls our lives.
With Jesus we can choose to love God and love others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
If you have one, take a dog for a walk together (or watch the video below). Talk about how the leash controls the choices of the dog and keeps the dog from being too selfish. That is what God’s love does for us. All our choices should be made from love.
(Notice some of the language used in this video – it’s not unlike our relationship with Christ at all).
I want your love to control me. I want to be less selfish and more like you. Thank you for loving me even when I fail to love you and others.
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