Stay In Your Lane

This month I’d like to discuss a book one of my pastors has written called:  “Stay In Your Lane” by Kevin A. Thompson. Pastor Thompson just published his book in May 2023. It is a fast read; you can purchase his book on Amazon.  

The book’s premise is to understand how our decisions can build us up or tear us down. His subtitle is: “Worry less, love more, and get things done.”  You probably intuitively know what he is talking about, but you never put your decisions into these three categories, and I think it is brilliant.

The three categories are: “What’s Mine, What’s Theirs, and What’s God’s.” Simple right? Then why don’t we see our decision in these three categories? As humans, our sinful nature wants to “control” everything and everyone around us. Let’s face it, haven’t you ever had this thought before: “Now, I’ve had that experience, and I know what will happen, so I feel obligated to tell this person what is going to happen!”  Yes, we all have, and my guess is you’ve already gone down this road today! 

In the faith arena, we often spout scripture that supports the “What’s Gods” lane, but we rarely follow that scripture’s mandate. 

I will paraphrase Pastor Thompson’s three lanes here in my blog, and please order his book and read it for yourself.

Lane #1 – What’s Mine

The more we try to control others, the less we can manage ourselves. The less we attempt to manipulate others, the more we control ourselves.” ~ Kevin Thompson. 

When we stop and think about what we are about to say or do, we must ask ourselves: “Is this something that is mine or not mine?”  There are many “wrong questions” in any situation, and there are a few correct questions we can ask ourselves.

One is the “Responsibility Question.”  Is this my responsibility? Am I clear about my responsibility and understand the things under my control? In a marriage, you can’t control your spouse; you can only control what you say and how you act.

When you are at work, you can only control your responsibility within the parameters of your job description. You spend your day doing your job and no one else’s.

If you are a parent, you are responsible for the well-being of your children and modeling what is Godly, and teaching your children how to make the right decisions that will not harm them. We can influence our child’s decisions, but eventually, their decision will come with positive and negative consequences.

In our own lives, we are not to abdicate or give control over another person or entity. We each have autonomy. Each of us will be held accountable for our actions. We each must confess and ask for forgiveness daily for not staying in our lane and trying to control others.

Kevin ends this first chapter by saying we must refuse to own:  other people’s choices, other people’s emotions, and other people’s interpretation of our own words/actions. Wise words!

Lane #2 – What’s Theirs

” Respecting the personhood of others is vital in valuing ourselves and receiving respect from others.” ~ Keven Thompson.

You may have heard this famous phrase decades ago: “That’s my table!”  It is the same as “What’s Theirs.”  This means, in simple terms, I must distinguish between the things in my lane of responsibility and what the other person owns. 

I must understand I cannot force anyone to do anything – that is their responsibility. I must realize I cannot determine another person’s Attitude. I must understand I cannot Decide for a person. The ultimate of this lane of What’s Theirs is this; I am not responsible for the consequences another person suffers from making the wrong decision, taking the wrong action, or having the wrong Attitude.

When I allow those items mentioned above, what I am doing is RESPECTING the personhood of the other person.

Lane #3 – What’s God’s

“What God does with other people is none of our business.” ~Kevin Thompson.

Here in lane #3, it is foolish to take on what is God’s. Believers find this out the hard way over their lifetime. Just like the Jews wandering in the desert so many years, we, too, fail to learn the lessons God has for us. Yes, we are just like the little children you deal with or have dealt with in your own youth. Telling them this will burn you, this will hurt you, please don’t do that, and they do, and so do we. 

When we fail to leave things in God’s Lane, we ultimately get “stuck.”  It seems to be so easy for us to remember God is behind the scenes working in what seems to be chaos to us, but HE has a bigger vision and plan we do not see in all the turmoil around us. 

If you feel you are stuck in a particular state of being, the reason you are stuck is you are living in denial. When we “accept” what is real, what are the facts of our current situation, and we begin to take responsibility for our choices that put us in the current situation, we can move forward.

There are some things in life we cannot control and cannot change; we need to face up to the reality of who we are and where we are in life. Far too many times, those who do not accept these things waste precious time, money, and resources trying to control what is simply not theirs to control.


Pastor Kevin says this: “There is JOY in being responsible!”  When we fail to leave our lane, we are set up for failure. Our job is to “Trust and Give Thanks.”

I encourage you to buy and read Pastor Thompson’s excellent book. There is much more to this story than I can put in this blog.

If you need someone to help you navigate the lanes in your life, I am here, other mentors, coaches, counselors and pastors are just a phone call or text or email away. Reach out and find a partner to walk you through this time in your life.