Yesterday we talked about letting go of our schedule in order to receive the gifts He holds stretched out in divine interruption. But what about the agenda we have for someone else?
When your pastor could’ve said it better that morning. Your daughter chooses to attend a rival college. Your star soccer player gives up a scholarship to pursue art. Aging parents decide to give their possessions away to neighbors. A teacher chooses a book for your children that you don’t like. A friend won’t admit they have a drug problem.
When your husband should read your mind and do the dishes because you’re exhausted. And doesn’t.
When we heard this, we and all the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus.”
When it was clear that we couldn’t persuade him, we gave up and said “The Lord’s will be done.” Acts 21: 12-14
Is it possible to let go of our aspirations for others, our filmstrip of life with scenes that don’t match our imagination?
Perhaps we’re standing among the local believers consoling each other with shared opinions that meander down the road of selfish ambition. Taking scissors to blank chapters of fearful imagination. Forgetting about the final destination of the journey and missing the road signs along the way leading to, “The Lord’s will be done.”
How do you know when it’s okay to speak into someone’s life versus letting go of your agenda for them?
This is the fourth post in the series 31 Days of Letting Go. You can read the collective here. If you are a writer, I invite you to link up your post on the topic in the comments on Friday of each week so we can glean from your perspective. Subscribe to receive the series in your inbox or feed by adding your address in the side bar under Follow Redemptions Beauty.
This is such a profound post, Shelly, because what you are asking requires such a great deal of prayerful discernment. I think, generally, “having an agenda” for someone else has bad connotations, and so at first I thought, “Well, of course, I need to bug off and not intrude.” Yet, as a mother, there were times I had an “agenda” for Sheridan, and it was a good thing–those godly parameters in which (hopefully) I raised her. And there were other times, I needed to back off and (per your theme) let go and let her make her own decisions and wrestle with consequences. But which to do and when? Ah….there’s the rub. Yes, I didn’t always back off a teacher’s agenda with a particular book or movie, when I felt it was either banal or belittling, or worse, totally vulgar and sexually crass (oh I could tell you stories about some blatantly blasphemous, immoral movies in Sheridan’s school). There are times to take a stand and challenge someone’s agenda, teacher or not. My husband and I are pleased that one movie was even removed as a result of our efforts. And also being an alcoholic who no longer drinks, I wish there had been Christians who had challenged my addiction agenda, and would have done so in love, knowing “there but for the grace of God went they.” But no one said a thing. One thing is sure: It’s important to be humble and to check out your agenda when critiquing someone else’s. What are our motives for speaking? Before the Lord, a great deal of humility, prayer, and discernment is necessary. Thanks for making me think! You’re a deep-thinking, thought-provoking author, Shelly! I like your agenda!
I’m struggling with this right now. Thank you!
I think I recognize the blue of that button…
This is a good one for me, Shelly. I think for most dreamers, expectations can get out of control. It never works out the way I see it in my head 🙂
Very profound…….discerning whose agenda is it anyway?? Your words speak to the boundaries we all deal with often in our relationships. Another phrase I have often heard in this modern world is “it is what it is”………..yes, and whose will is it? Thanks for making us think.
Oh yes! This is good advice! This is something I have been growing in lately. Thanks for the encouragement.
I’m guessing your home now Tereasa. Good to hear from you friend.