There was a time when that meant alot of wordly issues to me. Raised by a feminist, I believed that I, as a woman, would never be given a fair chance. That I would have to work twice as hard, and achieve twice as much to be given half the 'success' that my male counterparts would experience. To say that I bought into it hook, line and sinker would be an exaggeration; but, I believed that I alone would have to make things happen for a happy, successful life. What I gleaned from the feminist mantra was that I could trust no one, depend on no one and expect nothing from those around me. I - was - it. Hence the makings of a control freak.
Even after I was saved, my need for control was immense. This is not to say I didn't confess a recognition of God as soveriegn - I just wanted to keep that soveriegnty in a little box. Even my husband suffered through the times when I 'knew' I was right and everybody else was wrong. For instance if my husband was working outside of God's will, I took the opportunity to teach him my opinion(how many times have I seen other women doing the same thing with their husbands!). We, as women, need to learn to get out of God's way to see His power in our lives. After many years, I think I finally get it. John the Baptist helped me with this little tidbit:
He must increase, and I must decrease. John 3:30
So the wisdom I follow now is much, much different - but it is still a struggle for me to ignore my old teachings. Although I am not a biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination, my Lord is patiently showing me truth.
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith; Philippians 3:9
How can I claim any kind of growth in my faith by trying to do it myself. My faith came from God and only He can cause it to grow - if I get out of the way and watch Him work!
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesian 4:22-24
I picture this in simple terms. When Christ came into my heart, he only needed to have a crack in the door to enter. As I grow in my faith and understanding of how to give Him my 'all', I need to throw open the door and step out of the way. If anyone around me is outside of God's will, I can encourage them to turn back, I can even lead by example if it is a peer, but I can't change them. Trust me, nagging and manipulating may get the outcome we as women desire, but it doesn't lead anyone to the Lord. I have learned that the best way to allow God to do the work, is to shut my mouth and concentrate on my own walk of faith. Try it, I recommend this technique highly! The results are nothing short of miraculous.
I CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHTEOUS IN GOD'S EYES, but Christ can through me - through any Christian. All we need to do is stay out of his way.