So I was talking to a friend and the word “control” came up. She was walking me through an interaction she had with another friend and ended with, “that’s not controlling…is it”?
I’m typically of the adage, if I have to ask myself the question, the answer or response is likely the very thing I’m asking.
But this is my girl so of course my first thought is, “nah girl, that’s not controlling”. Eventually we moved on from this topic but for some reason the thought seemed to linger. So since I couldn’t shake it, I decided to explore it a little further. This was actually not the first time a friend had asked me, “am I controlling?”.
My response to the question the previous time was, “you’re helpful…you simply like to help people”.
Now some would probably say, that was a very “PC” response but I felt it was very honest. But despite my honesty, it still led to yet another question…
When does a feeling of being helpful move to a feeling of being controlling?
Good question…so here’s what I found to be true…
If the recipient of this unsolicited “help” becomes rebellious, bitter or resentful, you’ve probably crossed that line. This can be seen more often than not with kids. You know, those kids that went off to college and went “buck wild”? Yes, that is still a word…but I digress. These kids despised the way in which they were brought up. With the rules and controls and pressure inflicted on them, it was only a matter of time…they were a ticking timebomb…a soda that you shake and as soon as you open it, the contents come spewing out…they couldn’t wait to be released. This is human nature. But not God’s nature.
We’ll come back to that thought. But before we do, let’s talk about another possible result of control.
Becoming someone’s crutch. Yes, the distant cousin of rebellion. In this case, the child never leaves home and can never keep a job for that matter. But why should they have to? You’ve made it very easy and comfortable for them. Their actions or lack thereof have no consequences…in their eyes. You are their fallback plan. They never fall or never fail because you’re right there to catch them, save them. But they also never learn, grow or mature. You stunted it.
So, I’m sure you would agree that these are both equally undesirable results of something that started off so innocent. I mean, our motives were pure and so was our heart. So how could something so pure end with something so not?
Now I’m not suggesting that God was the result of it but perhaps the absence of God was.
This can be a very touchy subject simply because we all like to think we consult God and include God in everything. But do we really? I’ll let you sit with that thought for a minute…
In the meantime, let’s talk about how the previous scenarios play out in our everyday adult lives…
The same exact way.
The above scenarios aren’t too far fetched from what we may experience as young professionals, devoted husbands or wives, loving friends, and family.
But God. He can make the difference.
But if we know that, why is it still so hard to relinquish control?
Our sinful nature…the natural propensity of our flesh to go left versus right.
“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” Romans 7:19-20 NIV
So definitely nothing to beat yourself up about but definitely something to be aware of.
This was classic Trina. I lived a very unaware dating life. I often felt I needed to help God out. Yes, the man that made the moon and the stars needed my help with finding me a suitable mate. So what happened with that? A lot of falls, a lot of bruises, a lot of scars.
Now some things just come with life.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
But others were self-inflicted.
My fear of being alone led me to some pretty isolated places. My fear of failure resulted in me failing, my fear of letting go resulted in me falling. Where God intended me to soar, I was barely even walking.
But like a parent, God was always right there to pick me up, dust me off and comfort me so I could try again. But this time, not so much in my own strength but in His.
Instead of finding comfort in controlling my plan I began finding comfort in God’s uncontrollable, unpredictable and sometimes uncomfortable plan.
Open your hand…open that tightly clenched fist and allow God to deposit the strength needed to find comfort in being uncomfortable. This and this alone allows you to live a truly free and unrestricted life. This allows God’s power to operate in it’s fullnesss in your life and finally relinquishing your control for His.
Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!