Make a list of the items, gifts, resources, and opportunities you are responsible for stewarding. Tell how they came into your life and how much control of them you have.
My brain. God gave it to me. I don’t have a lot, though I could help keep it well by working out and eating correctly.
My education. Part of that is a result of the government providing K-12 education. Part of it is because my family emphasized education. Part of that is because my parents supported me in college. Part of it is because I wanted to go to graduate school. Part of it is because my husband and sons supported me while I finished up the last of my dissertation work.
How much control do I have over it? A lot since it is finished.
My health. I was mostly born with it. I’ve done some good, getting a hysterectomy and thyroid medicine, and some not good, being overweight and eating nightshades. I have some control over it. I got the hysterectomy and quit having 100 day periods. I got thyroid medicine. Both of those last were only possible because of medical advances.
How much control do I have over it? Some. I can get and take the thyroid medicine. It is very expensive and is not covered by my insurance, but I can get it. I can limit my intake of nightshades. I can eat right. I can exercise. Not all though, because some things may get worse without my intention or even without my knowledge.
My family. Obviously I was born with part of my family. I am not responsible at all for being a part of them, though I am responsible for continuing to keep in touch with them, as Pastor Kerry keeps reminding everyone.
I am partly responsible for my family now. I saw R, laughed with him, asked him to a birthday party, and talked to him for hours. I wrote him. I went to see him. But he tried to make me paranoid, called me on the phone, and wrote me. He dated me cross-states. So, with God, we’re probably equally responsible for that. In my opinion, it was one of my better choices.
I am also partly responsible for the boys. Obviously I couldn’t have them by myself. And both of us wanted them. I homeschooled them. We took them to church. We moved them around.
In addition, I am also partly responsible for not having more than the boys. My life was endangered both times I was pregnant, so I got my tubes tied. But we could have adopted at least twice more. In fact, the adoption agency called us twice and offered to wave the fees. Both times I was pregnant and after that they quit calling. But we could have called them back. We could have adopted two more children. But I don’t think I could have taken care of two more children. Hopefully those babies got families who could take care of them.
How much control do I have over my family? None. I couldn’t stop my mother from going crazy. I couldn’t stop my father from having a stroke. I couldn’t stop my son from becoming an atheist. I couldn’t stop my sister from marrying a non-Christian. I couldn’t stop my other sister from marrying someone she had just met. I couldn’t stop my brother from being an atheist. I have absolutely zero control over my family. All I can do is love them and pray for them.
My three part-time jobs. Obviously my brain and my education were a necessity for these. And I had to attempt to get the jobs. Someone else had to decide to give them to me. I had to work at them in order to keep them.
How much control do I have over them? Ultimately, of course, none. But generally I could continue doing all three of these jobs as long as I work at them and apply for them.
My house. R worked to make the money to purchase it. We paid quite a bit for it. My dad paid it off. So we have no mortgage payments right now.
How much control do I have over it? Some. I pay the insurance and the taxes on it. I live in it. But not a lot. A fire could destroy it, so could a gas leak. R could decide we need to move. The government could become communist and take it away from me to give to someone else. (Okay, that is not likely, but it is happening in Venezuela right now.)
The stuff in my house. Most of the furniture was given to my by my parents. Some was given to me by my sister. In the whole house, we bought bookshelves, a table and chairs, a coffee table, nightstands, and two dressers. That’s it. The six couches were all given to us. The three queen beds were all given to us. The other coffee table was given to us. Two of the dressers were given to us. Two armoires were given to us. A desk was given to us. … Hm. We bought a desk, too. I forgot. Okay, so we have bought some furniture for our house. And looking at that list, it seems that we have way too much furniture.
How much control do I have over it? Someone could come in and steal it. Someone could break it. Someone could set it on fire. Someone could break the stuff too. So I can keep it clean, but I can’t keep it safe.
“How much control do I have over my family? None.”
BS. You can’t stop people from doing things you don’t want them to do, but you do have influence over them. You can choose to do things for them or not. You control your boys education. You control what they eat – or could. You have a great amount of control over their lives. You can choose not to help or support some actions by your family and without your support they either wouldn’t do them or it would be harder.
Maybe I’m not understanding your definition of control. No you don’t have ultimate control, but you do have some control.