The Thirty Sayings of the Wise | Sweet Success: Control (Ecclesiastes 8:2-10; 1 Corinthians 1:24; 2 Corinthians 12:9)

Do you try to control those around you, attempting to micromanage every outcome? Few have been afforded the ability to do so like Israel’s King Solomon.

Solomon built up military might for the sake of control (see Ecclesiastes 4:13-16; 8:2-10). As Israel’s king, he ruled over God’s people (see 1 Kings 1:35), whom he overtaxed and drafted into the military, steamrolling foreigners into forced labor (see 1 Kings 9:20-23). He constructed 4,000 stalls for chariot horses and collected 12,000 stallions and mares (see 1 Kings 4:26; 10:26), despite the Torah’s warning against doing so (see Deuteronomy 17:15-16). Solomon’s actions cut against God’s desire for a theocracy where He would rule (see 1 Samuel 8:7). To keep control of his borders, Solomon also built strategic fortress cities: Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer (see 1 Kings 9:15-18).

Control means “to roll against.” When seeking an expedient, unfair advantage over our counterparts in conflict, we tend to roll our will against others. Our desire for control will only be satisfied in Jesus Christ the Power of God (see 1 Corinthians 1:24). When we humble our hearts to Christ, we receive His power amidst our trying circumstances: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). In our weakness, He is strong (see 2 Corinthians 12:10).

Whereas, you probably do not have a military army at your disposal, you most likely have enlisted many friends and acquaintances into a social one. This becomes convenient when relational challenges come your way. In your interpersonal conflict, beware of powering-up in relationships. Avoid rallying the troops around your selfish cause and yield the outcomes to God. In all things, seek Christ who will shape your heart to be like His.

Episode 106: 30 Sayings of the Wise: Future from mitchkrusetv on Vimeo.