Confessions of a Control Freak

For the love of Christ controls us, ESV 2 Corinthians 5:14

I struggle with control, and from my observations, I’m not the only one. Parents try to control their kids (I’ve seen it go so far as a father who bought a house for his son just so he could use that as leverage to control his adult child and grandchildren). We try to control illness (or lack thereof) through worry, constant cleaning/sanitizing, etc. We try to control our spouses through nagging, pressure, under our breath comments, or perhaps gifts, acts of service and flattery. We try to control our jobs by tweaking our Linked in page, kissing up to the right people, pushing our ideas and so forth. I’ve been guilty of trying to control people’s spiritual growth by thinking if I get my sermons, counseling, and teaching right, I can mold and shape people how I think they should grow.

Alas, all of this controlling really only serves to expose the idols of our hearts and mind. In reality, we are trying to be God. We think if we are in control, we will be happy. This drive for happiness compels us to control everything in our life, overwhelming us with the pressures of being God and we often end up frustrated, anxious, depressed and often failing. If only we would listen to Scripture, submit our souls to God and let Him control things, we might find the life and happiness we so desperately seek. Paul gives a mature perspective when He explains that rather than us controlling life, we should be controlled by the love of Christ. For recovering control freaks like myself, this sounds terrifying, but consider the blessings. If we can grasp how much Christ loves us and be controlled by that, we will truly be freed to live. His love for us guarantees our salvation, our forgiveness, our life. Rest in His love. If our kids don’t do exactly what we want, if our career doesn’t turn out precisely right, if our day doesn’t follow our exact plan, God loves us anyway and is working all things together for His good.

May you be controlled by the love of Christ today. May you rest in His love and let Him be God. Playing God yourself is exhausting and life-sapping. Let Him control you and enjoy the life He offers. Relinquishing control never felt so good.

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