Blessings: No more worries

by | May 5, 2024

Mike Robbins began a 2022 post with the question, “Do you struggle with control?” How would you answer his question?

The motivational speaker and author then takes his readers through a tutorial on letting go of control complete with a benefits list, including: Joy, peace, freedom, creativity, connection and love. Benefits that cost us when we choose control over surrender.

Nevertheless, Dr. Raj Raghunathan notes, “Human beings have a deep-seated desire for certainty and control.” In his article titled “Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier,” Dr. Raghunathan describes two key reasons for desiring certainty and control.

First, having a sense we’re in control gives a sense we’re able to shape outcomes and events to our liking. This feeling boosts well-being. Second, being in control means there isn’t someone else controlling us.

Moreover, studies show persons with higher needs for control usually set loftier goals for themselves and achieve more.

But, there is a “but” consequence to desiring control and certainty, as noted by Robbins’ list of benefits we sacrifice when we choose to hold on to control.

The need for certainty and control seems so embedded in us that most of us feel a need to come across to others as a person who “has it all together.” That is, we’re in control and we’re certain of it. Anything less and we may be perceived as lacking.

Richard Rohr describes three worldviews that he links to our need for controlling outcomes. In the first, we suspect the universe works against us. In the second, the universe is on our side. And third, the universe is indifferent and doesn’t weigh in at all on our well-being.

Rohr argues that anxiety and worry are the opposite of faith, for Jesus. And this is our Lord’s primary concern. Jesus is not focused on whether we attend church and follow the rules. His priority for us is a faith that can only come through grace.

And when we have faith, the universe is neither against us nor indifferent. If anything, we sense the universe is on our side.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3

Only transformation, argues Rohr, moves us from either neutral or negative to a place where certainty isn’t necessary for us to feel joy and contentment. Our anxiety evaporates, along with our worries. We’re okay because God loves and cares deeply about our well-being.

The universe, controlled by God, is on our side.

Jesus begins His sermon on the mount with an announcement that God is on the side of everybody whose side, at least according to conventional wisdom, God shouldn’t be on.

Jesus declares blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful. And blessed are the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted because of righteousness, people insulted because of Jesus.

And the blessings for this group, for whom the universe must surely despise, include receiving the kingdom of heaven, comfort, inheriting the earth, fulfillment, mercy and seeing God. Also, they will be called children of God. And more. Jesus tells them theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and He tells them to rejoice and be glad because their reward is great.

Wow! This is a long list of blessings and benefits.

When Jesus spoke these words 2000 years ago, He was sharing with those who are listening just as He continues to share with us today the very heart of God.

These declarations of blessings are just that; they are statements that describe a collection of people for whom faith is freely available.

I believe we are all born blessed. We are so helpless that our very lives depend upon those who care for us. Created in God’s image we are born naked not only because we have no clothes, but we are naked because we have no means to deceive others with an image that we want others to see, but does not truly reflect either who we are nor the image of God within us.

Sadly, as life happens, so do injuries to our well-being. We’re fortunate if our caregivers shower us with love and affection. Regardless, eventually, our skin toughens, our heart hardens, and the identity God gave us as birth is hidden by layers of pretense and protection.

But Jesus tells us there is good news. So be glad and rejoice.

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Pastor Tommy


Parts of our series was inspired by Fr. Richard Rohr. JesusAlternative Plan. Cincinnati: Franciscan Media, 2022.

Mike Robbins. “The Importance of Letting Go of Control” © Mike Robbins, November 15, 2022. Retrieved from: link

Raj Raghunathan. “Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier.” © Greater Good, Sept 28, 2016. Retrieved from: link

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