Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News
Over the years we have seen or heard about mind control.
Unfortunately, there have been episodes where this has occurred in a church. Remember the episode of Jim Jones and the several hundred people that committed suicide in the late '70's?
Jones had a certain charisma about him that drew people into his clutches and many of those people followed him to his paradise in South America. It has been said that he ruled the lives of those who attended his services and then they became more entwined in his system.
To be sure, there is spiritual abuse going on in the name of God. As unfortunate as this is, it really does take place. People will follow a person in such ways they are giving their paychecks, their personal information and find themselves without control over their own life and decision making processes.
Colossians 3:15 says, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful."
So, do you face a situation that appears to be a huge one? Are you falling to pieces over a situation that seems difficult and almost impossible to conquer? We all face this stuff from to time and, I find consolation in the above passage. It really speaks to me as to how I should respond to situations.
If we allow the "peace of God" rule within us that suggests that we are not allowing situations to do the ruling of our thinking process.
A person really must slow down and do these things to get through the stuff life throws at us. First: Apply your mind to the situation. THINK! Really THINK! Write down your thoughts and before taking a hasty step, consider what you see before you.
Secondly, pray about the situation. We can think all day long and stew over a problem, but when we take the matter to God in prayer, it really does make a difference.
The next part of this step is to LISTEN. What is it that God is saying to you? Often we don't hear from God because our environment is way too busy and cluttered. He tells us that He speaks to us in a "small, still voice," and to hear Him you must be still without interruption.
The third thing you can do is do all you can about the situation. Sometimes we just have to give it up to Him. Are you willing to do that?
And the Fourth thing to do is give it over to Him. There are situations where you just have to take your hands off of it and have faith in God to make the correction or resolution. As humans, we really struggle with that one, but if we are people of faith, then we must live by faith and come to a trust in Him.
The favorite physician of Queen Victoria once said, "The only remedy to all of life's ills and woes is through the person and work of Jesus Christ."
Give Him a chance to work with you.
Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Lutheran Orthodox Church Bishop and free-lance writer. He can be reached at 812-662-5154 or www.faithandcourage.net.