Letting Go

I have issues with letting go.  You know, letting go what is not my responsibility (why did I grab it in the first place?), letting go too late, grabbing what is not mine to grab and quite often thinking that I am responsible for the things that are actually God's responsibility.

You see, the letting go issue really has to do with control and influence.  I had a wise person once say to me, "Laura, you need to recognize the difference between your areas of influence where you can have a voice and the areas in which you do not have a voice and you are trying to control."  I never realized that my control issues were actually the dark side of my strength of influence and gift of shepherding.  Okay, so recognizing is half the problem, right?  I can recognize things all day long and never act on them, so recognizing is a very small part of the problem.

Paul writes in Philippians 1:3-6: 

 "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. "

I've always loved this prayer and not until recently did I recognize that part of this prayer includes Paul letting go.  No matter how much Paul loves the Philippians, he let's them go, trusting that the He who began a good work in them would complete it.  Paul did not start the work, Paul will not finish it, Paul is merely a partner with them because of the gospel of Christ they share together.  His letting go does not mean he forgets about them, does not care for them or love them, it means he is free to love them, pray for them, partner with them without the weight that is not his, but the Holy Spirit's - the weight we sometime's carry for someone's spiritual formation or transformation, the weight we carry for another's actions. 

I think we all face issues with "letting go" in some sense, whether it is a lack of responsibility or taking on too much.  Many of us involved in ministry, whether at a church or organization, whether, at home with children, leading a small group, etc. run into issues of letting go.  My prayer is that Paul's prayer would be an encouragement to you, a challenge and freedom to let go and take on resonsibility that is actually yours and allow God to be responsible for what is His.

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