We seek to control our lives and the lives of others to make ourselves feel more secure and important. Many of us don’t realize we do this. We employ these controlling behaviors and strategies so quietly and invisibly that we’re blind to them. Yet we push people’s buttons to create the experiences and relationships that serve our purposes.
There are many ways we seek to control others. Some of us are perfectionists or intimidators or worriers or constant planners or micromanagers. But why do we seek to control? Where does this desire come from? No doubt it derives from core issues in our lives, struggles we have with deep feelings of inadequacy, pain, and fear. We seek to control because otherwise we are scared we won’t measure up or be accepted.
Control is all about trying to remove the unknown. It keeps us from trusting others and trusting God. The upside-down thinking of the world says, “The unknown is scary. I don’t know who I can trust. If I take matters into my own hands, if I control things, I can eliminate the fear of the unknown.” But right-side-up thinking says, “The unknown is a place of trust. Perfect love casts out all fear. Only when I release control and trust God can I experience real love.”
It’s so discouraging trying to control your problems and other people when neither will cooperate. Trying to control always ends in failure because trying to control is really trying to play God. There’s only one God, and you’re not Him!
When we come to the place where we say, “I give up. I can’t control this situation,” then God enters the scene of our lives. Once we stop trying to fix the problem, change the person, or control the situation, then God can get involved. After we give up control, we have to give over control.