The Unavoidable Principle of Letting Go (Part Two)
Author: Susan Thomas
As a professional counselor, one of the most valuable things we can do for our clients is to help identify the areas where they are living “white-knuckled.”
In our previous post, we began to consider the unavoidable principle of letting go that each of us is confronted with. Whether in response to fear, anxiety or anger, we are prone to “white-knuckled” living, gripping tight to the people and things of this life.
As professional counselors, one of the most valuable things we can do for our clients is to help identify the areas where they are living “white-knuckled.” Here are some common signs of to look for:
One sign that a person is fighting the principle of letting go is fear. Fear is that gripping emotion of dread that often springs from the belief that “something bad is going to happen.” For some, fear is a daily, unwanted companion. Anxiety and fear act as terrorists of the mind robbing an individual of joy, peace and even, at times, the ability to function.
For others, they might say, “fear is not my struggle.” Until the trigger happens. The bank account drops too low. Job insecurity. Hard diagnosis. Relational crisis. There are so many struggles we face that strike fear in our hearts.
Jesus speaks directly to our fear!
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:27
31“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:31-33
Another sign that someone is fighting the principle of letting go is the attempt to control. Unhealthy attempts to control occur when trying to exercise authority or power over people, circumstances or outcomes, while not having the authority or power to do so. Controlling thoughts and behaviors can often be driven by selfishness, pride or fear.
Jesus responds to our controlling ways by saying, “Let go of things that I have not given you authority to control!”
When it comes to Jesus’ call to let go of your life, is He only referring to our physical lives? No. Jesus is referring to all of what makes us who we are and what we hold dear; body, mind, heart, soul, desires, dreams, loves, possessions, talents, gifts and more.
Jesus says “Let it go.” Grip it and you’ll lose it. Let it go for Jesus’ sake, and you’ll find it.
In order to let go and experience the life God has for us, we have to deal with the root cause of our “white-knuckled” grip. We must identify what is behind our symptoms of fear and control.
Three common root causes of holding on to our lives include faith, focus and first love. As a professional counselor, these truths apply to us first. But, we also have the privilege to help our clients find freedom as these diseased roots are exposed.
Consider these key questions as useful guides to assist your clients.
- Do you believe God? Is He real? Is He good? Can He . . . and will He? Does He love me? Is His way really best? Can I trust Him with my life?
- Where is my focus? In Hebrews 12:1-2, we are reminded that the only way to run this race of life well is “by keeping our eyes on Jesus.”
- Who or what is my #1 Love? Show me what you hold on to and I’ll show you what you love.
As we seek God first, Jesus says He will take care of all our needs. Hold on to your life and lose it. Give it to Jesus, and have it all!
Posted on May 17, 2016