Be still, and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10 ESV

Born in 1934, author and pastor Chuck Swindoll is still active at 89 leading a worldwide ministry despite being twenty-plus years beyond what most consider a “normal” retirement age. Clearly, for Swindoll, serving God involves “taking life by the throat” and not just sitting back passively. On the other hand, living for Christ does not mean being a “control freak” either. Swindoll has explained that around this time each year, he prays and plans out his upcoming year. However, at the top of each month’s calendar page, he writes “I am not in charge.”

In other words, his job is to pray, plan, think, and take action where possible. Yet, he also keeps firmly in mind that final outcomes are in God’s hands, not our own.

As Psalm 115:3 (NKJV) puts it, “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.”

To help apply this truth to the nitty-gritty of life, Swindoll shares a poem attributed to Alice Cordy, “Letting Go.”

To let go does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off,
it’s the realization I can’t control another.

To let go is not to enable,
but allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means
the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
it’s to make the most of myself.

To let go is not to care for,
but to care about. 

To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their destinies.

To let go is not to be protective,
it’s to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be. 

To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more.

Take the next step: As we enter a new year, what are some things you can “let go” of?


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