We do have authority over our own feelings and actions. I realize we have been taught by the media, celebrities and folks in involved in the "if it feels good you should not only do it but keep on doing it until it damages every relationship you have" gurus until we lose all sense of authority over our own lives. It seems as though anything worth exerting effort for is "our culture making us feel bad about natural impulses"... like smacking somebody because they startled us?...like saying something mean to our kids because we are in a bad mood, a bad place?...like accepting the notion that if we have a bad experience it gives us lifetime permission to be the instrument of pain to others?
Is it easy to take responsibility, to do the tough but oh-so-worthwhile stuff, to be the one that does not wait for someone else to make our lives easy? No, but it is possible and it is actually invigorating and healing and empowering to invite God to help us make better choices, be forgiving, believe in a better tomorrow.
Here is the scoop: I have a full-time job blooming where I am planted what with watering and weeding and fertilizing and pruning and all that other work that pays such huge dividends in joy and hope and peace. That is the payoff, you see: if we accept responsibility for our own feelings and actions we are empowered to change our future, to be the driver of the bus of our lives rather than living like we are being dragged behind somebody else's caboose. We GET to accept responsibility for our own feelings and actions.
And this is the truly amazing and wonderful arrangement, a joyous thing: When I tend my own life, those around me notice. When I don’t waste time blaming my circumstances and begin give thanks for my blessings, my relationships improve. When I surrender my wounds to Christ and let His woulds heal mine, I am truly free to be all I was created to be, to embrace that which heals and to have a hope and a future.
By God's Abundant Grace, we do have authority over our own feelings and actions.