“You’re not the boss of me!” What a familiar phrase, one flung at parents or an older sibling by a little underage insurgent. Standing angrily with fists firmly clenched and resting on hips, the body leaning awkwardly forward, chin protruding out and maybe even a foot stamping on the ground. These are the children we find asking themselves, why life has dealt them such a bad hand in giving them such a horrible brother, sister or parent like you!
For some years now, I have heard the phrase “You’re not the boss of me” increasingly used in our society. I sure wish I could bottle up some of that tenacity when it comes to exercising and eating healthy instead of saying, God gave me taste buds to enjoy my food. Which leads me to believe I am supposed to enjoy eating, but not to the point where I am sabotaging my life. I too would do well if I could just put my hands on my hips and remind my taste buds, “You’re not the boss of me.” You are the only person who can decide who the boss is in your life. The writer of Galatians 6:8 reminds all of us “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:17 – “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other”…There is an ongoing battle between our flesh and spirit and we live in a world filled with temptations and distractions that all cater to the flesh. The Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:5 “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires”. Talk about an uphill battle if you always feed into the flesh and your feelings (i.e. unhealthy eating, laziness, impulsive spending, pride, selfishness, impatience) you are placing a limit on how much real and lasting satisfaction you will actual have in life. If you can just get beyond the temporary discomfort that comes with not allowing your flesh to have, its way, that is to say, the temporal, and immediate, superficial, comfort it so desires, you will see God move in your life in a much greater way.
The flesh wants control; the flesh likes to be comfortable. Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live”. I am in a constant battle and need to remind myself when I think I want a lot of unhealthy food it is my taste buds that want it. I quickly tell myself after all the good unhealthy food I enjoy I will pay for it later with various health issues. I have learned to live by how you feel because of the flesh is a very shallow way to live. The flesh wants to control it is loud and forceful seeking immediate gratification after all the flesh rules our natural desires. However, restraint cultivates growth while our feelings are all about the now; while maturity is not caught up in the moment. I have trained myself to enjoy those healthy food options; I now crave the things I have trained my taste buds to enjoy.
When you stop giving in to the flesh, it will not be easy even Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23 “I have the right to do anything,” …but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” Stop serving your flesh and take control, do not live in bondage to sexual immorality, drugs, alcohol, anger, impatience, lying, etc. stop feeding your fleshly feelings and desires. If you do not get control of your flesh, your carnal nature the book of Proverbs 25:28 says you are “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control”. This suggests anything can come in and trample over you at any time.