Cleaning Up Control

by LESLIE SPEAS

Does anyone else enjoy the feeling of being in control? I sure do. I MAY be a bit of a control freak. I love to have my plans and feel like I can dictate how things will go. It baffles me that others don’t follow my plans because we would all be so much better off!

In my book, From Hot Mess to God’s Best: Decluttering Your Mess to Be Your Best, I share twelve of the most common strongholds (negative mindsets) that hold us back from God’s best for our lives. Control is certainly one of those for many of us.

I have come to realize that I’m rarely if ever in control of what happens. The pandemic was a recent event that was proof of that. I don’t think many of us saw that coming! We may have control over our attitudes, actions, and responses but that is about it. God is in control of everything else. Although I am very aware of this, when something happens that concerns me, I still get in there and try to set things straight.

What exactly is control? It is defined as the power to direct other people’s behavior or the course of events. “I like being controlled”, said No one…Ever. Controlling can be very damaging to relationships. And often it is the people closest to us that we try to control. Controlling behavior can be motivated by love, initially with good intentions, but it rarely turns out well.

Here are three strategies to try to clean up control in your life if you struggle with it as I do.

  • Awareness is important

Understanding what is in your control, and what isn’t, is critical. You aren’t in control of the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others so don’t try to be. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned but you should release any attempts to control others or circumstances to God.

  • Understand the why

When you understand the “why” behind why you are attempting to control, you can effectively address the heart of the problem. You can do this by identifying a time you were controlling and pondering the following:

What happened?

How did you feel or respond?

What were you afraid would happen if you didn’t intervene?

How could you have responded differently without trying to control?

  • Surrender to God

To overcome control, we must confess and surrender our need for it to God. God asks us to trust Him with what we can’t see. Second Corinthians 5:7 tells us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” When you have a controlling thought, release it to God by saying, “not my will but yours be done.”

The truth is that it takes a lot of work to try to control. So, my new motto is – Stop striving and start thriving! I’m going to implement the strategies above to let go and let God do His thing.

Facebook
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Email

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!

Latest Stories

Other Featured Articles

Categories

All Article in Current Issue