Control Issues

Daily Reform, Day 228

Galatians 3:4 and Matthew 6:9-13

From the Reformer

The Apostle adds the afterthought: “If it be yet in vain. I do not despair of all hope for you. But if you continue to look to the Law for righteousness, I think you should be told that all your past true worship of God and all the afflictions that you have endured for Christ’s sake are going to help you not at all. I do not mean to discourage you altogether. I do hope you will repent and amend.”

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

“Watch out!” cried the person on the other side of the car. “You should have turned left there.” You know this kind of passenger, who wherever they sit, are labeled backseat drivers. “Slow down!” Usually, they are not better drivers; some of them do not drive at all. More likely, the backseat driver has control issues.

An alarmingly large portion of the Church has control issues. They think they need a little of God’s grace for driving the car but that it must be steered to its destination by their own control and direction. They just need to be more careful, slow down, speed up, or turn at one street instead of another. Their belief—and it is their central belief—is that their choices and their good works are what make the crucial difference in life. Nothing is further from the truth and nothing is more presumptuous. When we think we have enough will power and religion to deal with sin, we are actually saying that we do not need God at all. We will have gone from having control issues to being persons with god complexes.

And if we look across the seat, we will discover no one is actually driving the car at all.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with Luther in Galatians

Leave a Reply