There is nothing greater than the grace of God, brought forth through the cross event. Nevertheless, even in the grace of Christ’s redeeming work, we can become control freaks. “Hello, my name is Tim, and I’m a control freak.” Preachers have given sermons, Theologians have written discourses, and Apostles have proclaimed the truth; humanity is infected with a chronic illness called sin and it deceives us.
In turn, this condition of sin is nothing new. The Apostle Paul said, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15, NRSV). Thus, I welcome you to CFA (Control Freaks Anonymous). As a professional grace pusher, I know that the grace of God trumps the effects of sin. As a human, I know that we live with this tension of sin and grace. The human will is “mutable” – forever changing and fickle – and cannot willingly cling to this divine promise of grace that is beyond its comprehension.
As a result, we are addicts of the sin that ails us, and the only cure is the unmerited grace of God. Translation, we are not in control, but we’re fixated on the illusion of control. Certainly, we could blame an American workaholic attitude for our false conceptions of control and perfection, but this is a symptom of a greater condition. Still, if grace is the cure, why are people, like me, control freaks? Our human will is in a state of hegemony – it perceives that it is free to do all things, through its own determination; yet, it is a slave to addiction, blind to illusions of its own creation – and this is the result of our sin condition.
However, there is hope because this hegemony is not the work of God. “Wherefore, the work of Satan is, so to hold men, that they come not to know their misery, but that they presume that they can do all things which are enjoined” (Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will). Therefore, I confess that I am a control freak (insistent that my determination will endure the hardships of life) and only the grace of God, illuminated in the cross event, can cure my condition and heal my addiction.
This post was inspired, influenced, and "standing on the shoulders" of the words and story of a "Sarcastic Lutheran".