“I’m watching you Focker!” Real talk here. Meet the Parents… Robert De Niro AKA Jack… You know the role. If not, watch it. It’s funny. I know, I know… I realize the movie is 15 years old. I’m getting old. I just watched it again this weekend; just bear with me here.
What if God had the attitude Jack has toward Ben Stiller (Greg)? You know, untrusting, judgmental, negativity seeker, finger pointer, sneaks around waiting for us to screw up, and points out our short comings to others. Thank God he doesn’t! I’m a Focker, you’re a Focker, we’re all just a bunch of sinning Fockers. Like Greg, we try really hard to do our best, but things happen and we just end up failing. Sometimes it’s not bad, but other times, we sin BIG. Some of us, though, are Jacks. Maybe even Jack A****. Kidding. Maybe. Read below and see who you relate to best: Greg or Jack.
Alright, so this movie has two clearly different characters.
Jack is a control freak. He is right, or thinks he is, all of the time. He is quick to judge, unaccepting, unwaivering, hard, untrusting, and doesn’t let people in easily. He created Exhibit A (The Circle of Trust). Through his extreme personality and refusal to budge, he ruins relationships and ends up pushing loved ones away. No one is good enough. No one can please him. He intimidates people, and this creates walls.
Then there’s Greg. He is just a normal dude that wants to impress Jack, his soon to be father in law, so he will do anything in order to make a good impression. No matter how hard he tries, he just keeps bombing. He tries so hard that he ends up compromising who he is to please Jack, and it just doesn’t go in his favor. In compromising, most of the time, he finds himself on the outside of the Circle of Trust. He lost his happiness, and probably “That Lovin’ Feelin’” also.
Many people can identify with one of these characters. Are you a control freak or are you a screw up? Let me just tell you. I’ve been both, and I still struggle sometimes.
If you fall in the control freak category, Jack, here’s a nugget of scripture for you:
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
You say, but I do trust in the Lord. I love Him. I live my life for Him. Take a step back for a minute. Do you really, 100% Trust in Him? If you are a self-proclaimed control freak, you haven’t given him control. Control: The need to direct, command, and dominate situations, people, lifestyles, events, etc. in order to obtain the outcome you desire. This is an obsession. In order for you to be happy or not become anxious you need to have control over certain things. Sometimes this happens because past life events have scarred you. Sometimes it is out of fear, anger, pride, emptiness, pain, and other things. If you control a situation and get an outcome you desire, who gets the glory? You feel accomplished. You won. But, where’s God in that scenario? I say that because there is not room Biblically to be a control freak AND to trust in God. Why? We are asked to put God first. We are asked to Trust in Him with all our hearts, all our souls, and minds.
Yes putting control in God, something you can’t see or touch is scary. Think of this though: When was the last time you saw oxygen? You can’t see or touch it, but your life depends on it. You don’t control oxygen, but you trust that it’s there to sustain your life. Now, if you do try to control the oxygen level in a room, and you don’t know what you’re doing… You’re gonna hurt some people. That’s kind of dumb. So, don’t try and control everything. Give Him control and let Him sustain your life. You don’t always know what’s best for you no matter how hard you think you do. It takes so much less energy to give Him control. He wants it, give it to Him! You just have to LET GO!
You’re not a control freak? Are you Greg? Do you sometimes compromise who you are just to make others happy? Do you seek someone else’s approval so deeply that your happiness gets flipped upside down? This could be in the form of your Mom, Dad, Husband, Wife, Brother, Sister, Friend, Boss, or a number of other people. How many times have you changed your true self, tried to be someone you aren’t, or sought a person’s approval just to end up being disappointed? Did it work out for you in the long run? Does bad stuff just keep happening to you over and over no matter how hard you try? It’s like you’re a magnet for negativity. You’re such a good person, but people just take advantage of you. Why? What are you doing wrong?
Say hello to the flip side of control, my friend. Tired of feeling down, not good enough, like people don’t accept you for who you are, like a punching bag? Have you tried everything you know to do but nothing works? Turn to Him. Ask him to take control, not only of the current situation you’re in, but to also take control of your life. You don’t have to seek anyone’s approval but His. If you give Him control, he will make your life worthwhile. He will help you stand up to people who knowingly or unknowingly try to control you. He will give you courage to Trust in Him first and then yourself. He will teach you that you’re ok being YOU! He loves you enough to not keep you where you are though. He loves you enough that he will help you grow. Your paths won’t always be easy. Control freaks are hard to face, but it’s doable.
After you pray for Him to take control of your life, also pray for Him to change your heart toward that person. Pray for Him to let you see them through His eyes. Many times we ask Him to change that person’s heart. While we can still do that, sometimes asking Him to change the way we see them helps us move past things. And then LET GO!
Something unique happens when you give God control. He doesn’t always lead you down a path that is desirable. Sometimes he sends us down paths that are full of pot holes, mud puddles, hills, and valleys. Why? Because, His plan is the real deal no matter how hard. Trust is hard. Sometimes he allows us to struggle to help us grow. Sometimes we have pain to help others grow. During the peaks, praise Him, thank Him, and keep praying for Him to take control of your life. During the valleys, praise Him, thank Him, and keep praying that as he controls your life His Will be done. Pray for comfort, peace, determination, and perserverence during the hard times. When you step in a pot hole and twist your ankle, cuss if you want to, but know you will also get past it. And, when you get muddy, know that a little dirt never hurt anyone. Letting go of control is super scary because we don’t know what will happen. If you want peace in your heart and mind, and to see God truly work in your life you have to be willing to give up the reigns. LET GO!