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self management or God Management?

When we manage situations and people, we run the risk of complicating already complicated situations. Take a look at Haman’s reaction to a failure to show him respect.

When Haman saw for himself that Mordecai didn’t bow down and kneel before him, he was outraged. Meanwhile, having learned that Mordecai was a Jew, Haman hated to waste his fury on just one Jew; he looked for a way to eliminate not just Mordecai but all Jews throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes. Esther 3:5-6 MSG*

Haman allowed anger and hate to control his response – He managed the situation by using his position and power – going to the King to cause the elimination of all the Jewish people in the Kingdom.   He was going to get revenge!

As the story continues, the king discovers that Mordecai had exposed a plot to assassinate him and was never thanked. He asks Haman for his advice on how to properly honor a person who has delighted the king. Haman, thinking the king is talking about him, tells the king to robe the person in the king’s robe and parade him around town on horseback.

As Haman soon finds out, the king is talking about Mordecai and Haman is ordered to carry out the honoring process. When he completes leading Mordecai around, Haman flees to his home to tell his wife and friends the grave turn of events.

While they were still talking, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman off to the dinner that Esther had prepared.

So the king and Haman went to dinner with Queen Esther. At this second dinner, while they were drinking wine the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what would you like? Half of my kingdom! Just ask and it’s yours.”

Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, and if it please the king, give me my life, and give my people their lives.

 “We’ve been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed—sold to be massacred, eliminated. If we had just been sold off into slavery, I wouldn’t even have brought it up; our troubles wouldn’t have been worth bothering the king over.”

King Xerxes exploded, “Who? Where is he? This is monstrous!”

“An enemy. An adversary. This evil Haman,” said Esther.

Esther 6:14-7:6 MSG*

What drives us to react with control to perceived wrongs or actual harm done by another? Why do we plot and plan to seek revenge? Is it fear? Is it our need to control our circumstances – the fear that God can’t handle actual or perceived “wrongs”.

“Control” is not all bad – some people are blessed with vision to see what a situation is and strive to make it better. But for most of us, “control” is a reaction and a sign of fear. It is a sign that we do not trust the situation to be righted except by our intervention. In other words, we rely on our own strength and fail to turn to God or trust that God is in control.

Maybe today, we will be given a situation wherein we are “wronged” or our loved one is “wronged”. Maybe it is a situation we have been in time and time again and have no idea how to handle it.   Maybe it is time to get out of our own way and let God have His way. We have choices – we can manage and manipulate the situation or we can allow God to work it out. Which one will we choose? Self–management or God management?

*Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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