• Jason E. Fort

Self-Control? Who's in Control?


Who is in control exactly? Folks who are believers such as myself know ultimately, God is in control. But this can be misconstrued by those who do not believe the same as Christians. This can give someone the idea that God is up there like some Omnicient and Omnipotent puppet master from on high, fidgeting his fingers, pulling the strings and manipulating the exact circumstances and events that take place at all times.

Well, then why would God say He created us in His image? Why would He ever mention or care about a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Perhaps Thomas Jefferson and others had it right, when they declared that we have all been endowed by our Creator with certain UNALIENABLE Rights? Free will, Anyone... anyone... anyone - Bueller?

I digress. But God inspired many writers down through the centuries to write about this little thing called self-control. He even tells us Himself of the Fruits of the Spirit. And guess what - self-control is one of them.

Now one may ask, why would I want to write a post on the matter of Self-Control? And what does it have to do with what's happening in the world today?

EVERYTHING!

I was reading about a new study that said certain so-called experts claimed spankings caused mental illness. This is speculation at best, impossible to test a large enough sample to determine if this is true or not, and in my own personal experience - a complete falsehood. I can vouche for the fact that I had to take a mind-numbing mental evaluation just to be able to become a police officer. The same experts that do these studies perform these evaluations, and they deemed me to be sane enough to carry a gun and a badge. And I will go ahead and tell you, I faced many spankings growing up. I faced switches, I faced my dad's bare hand, and I even faced the dreaded belt (that one was the worst). And somehow, I passed the psyche test.

Here's the part that may really rub people the wrong way - and I don't really care. But at some point, IN ALL OUR LIVES, we have to accept the fact that every single one of the decisions we make have consequences. If we choose to break a law, there are consequences. If I lose control of my emotions and haul off and break some criminal's arm, there will be consequences. If someone commits a crime of passion in the heat of the moment, there will be consequences. And certain respected figures of authority enforce those consequences in society. But they are not there to CONTROL society, but help maintain order. And spankings, when you compare them to the things I just listed, can help someone understand that, when carried out at a young impressionable time in our lives, for the right reasons, and with reasonable amount of force. Spankings are not the same as child abuse, though many of those not blessed with common sense would argue with that. Spankings can be the early form of law enforcement; not to control the child, but help them learn self-control... order.

The real conundrum occurs when someone becomes confused on who really is in control. Self-control, when not mastered by some, results in violent encounters with those trying to maintain order. And if enough people who refuse to control themselves and their actions threaten the safety of others, those who enforce rules and laws of ORDER have to step in and TAKE CONTROL. Self-control, when not mastered, can result in some people not being able to take criticism. Self-control, when not mastered, can result in us not being able to hear the word - wait for it - NO! And self-control, when not truly mastered, can make certain other things impossible - like self-sufficiency. And if people cannot become self-sufficient, and become too dependent on things like say, oh I don't know - THE GOVERNMENT - then that government can step in and control those who depend on that government.

Control...control... we all want to be in control at some point. It is in our nature. But if we don't ever learn how to truly control ourselves, in balance with others around us, then we are not the ones in control. And at that point, God's not in control of us, because He wants us to have free will. And so if God isn't controlling us, and we aren't... just who exactly is running this thing?

The world is getting crazier. The other reason I wanted to post this today is because I saw several sources on the world wide web point to the first American company that is going to place microchips inside their employees. That's right - they will implant these chips to keep track of their employees. At what point do you let someone assume that much control over you? Please understand, if someone can keep track of where you go; can find you whenever they want; can hunt you down if they need to; can even predict things you will do from the patterns observed by monitoring said microchip... THIS IS A FORM OF CONTROL. This is what they do when you are under house arrest. Only, we are talking about something you can't just take off like a bracelet or anklet. Oh no; this sucker is planted up under your skin, inside your tissue!

Do you want someone having that much control over you?

What about free speech? I have often said, and I believe it's true - that political correctness will be the downfall of the great experiment once known as the United States. See, when people want you to change your feelings and your opinions because it makes them feel uncomfortable, and then you do it - you have just relinquished some control to that individual. And if this happens more and more frequently, pretty soon, those people whom you made so uncomfortable will be dictating to you what you are to say; what you are to believe. Enter Islam, stage right. Now the peaceful Muslims can hate that implied statement all they want, but coercion and determining what people will believe is what Islam is all about. The only being that should determine what we decide should be the One that created us; certainly not another person or group of persons.

Look, as usual, I don't claim to think for everyone. But ask yourself, who do you want to be in control of YOU? God says He wants you to be in control of yourself. Are you letting someone else take the wheel?