“You are not the boss of me”
I am the oldest of three girls. In the role of big sister, I was much more likely to receive this phrase than to throw it- usually because I was in some way telling the others how to do things my way. Because my way was the best, clearly.
As I have been reading this great book “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” by Paul David Tripp (And my friend Alison is somewhere laughing at me because she told me to read this book over a year ago- oops- and it is as good as she said it was), it has become clear to me that this battle for the “boss” is not something I left in my childhood, though it looks quite different today.
Tripp gives a list early on in the book of important things to consider in personal ministry, and this one stood out to me
“Whatever controls my heart will control my responses to people and situations.”
If you have been around the church for long at all, you realize he is talking about the heart issue of idolatry- that ultimately as humans we will live to worship something, be that God, our stomachs or the approval of others. But what was really interesting to me, was that I had forced the weight of responsibility of my actions onto those around me. I constantly make them “the boss of me.” Tom (my wonderful husband) doesn’t look up from the TV as I walk in the door, then as I turn on the sink to wash the dishes, and then huff over to the table and pick up his coat to hang it in the closet. Tom’s actions might not be the right ones in that moment, but as I become more and more angry, I have the choice to bring God glory and respond graciously (and truthfully telling him how I might have loved a little more help) or demand he beg for forgiveness for his wrongs and emotionally accuse him of never paying me any attention. What is the difference here? I have different desires warring in my heart, to bring glory to God, or to serve the idol of my own comfort. In the same situation I have the freedom to act in a variety of different ways. I am responsible.
I am the boss of me.
How have you blamed your own reactions on the circumstances or people around you? What would it look like to take responsibility and to consciously bring God glory in situations where it is challenging?