I was an assistant football coach for three years at Urbana University. The head coach, Dan Wesson, used a phrase all the time which has become a life motto for me. He said, “Control the factors you can control and do not worry about anything else.” Dan went on to explain that the only person and action one could control was ourselves. There was nothing anyone else did that I had influence over. The referee made decisions and if I disagreed with those it did not matter, the call was still made and nothing I said or did would affect it. The opponents had a game plan which I could not change or control. I had control of me and my decisions as a coach. Nothing I said or did could change the other factors I only had control over myself.
The point made here has revitalized my life in the ways in which I strive to approach all the events I face on a daily basis. I have strong beliefs, feelings and passions about the world around me, the government, the church, the neighborhoods in our communities and the ways we treat others. I believe with my whole heart that being in right relationship with Jesus Christ in salvation is the only way to eternal life. I believe. What this does not make me is a person who has all the right answers with the right to force you to believe and live my way, because after all, I believe I am right!!
I have the right to control the factors in my life which I have control over and live a life pleasing to God. I need to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in the way I live and love. I need to treat others with respect and show them that the gospel I live and believe works, is good, leads to a way of eternal life and is available to everyone!
All who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved! (Acts 16:31)
Perhaps it would be easier for all to believe in Jesus if they saw it in our actions and not just in words.
So how do I control the factors I can control and make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ? Micah 6:8 works for me, “He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” So my friends, live like Jesus lived, love like Jesus loved and be humble in the spirit of what God can accomplish in you!
The writer is the pastor of Maplewood and Lockington United Methodist churches.