Free will is something that God has gifted each one of us with; the ability to choose. Yet that freedom is often what will be put most under pressure in life. Often freedom disappears as we seek to take control; to be in charge, manipulate and even to dictate and control others.
When we struggle with wanting to control everything we run the risk of removing free will and limiting people’s choices and decision-making. Instead we can micromanage seeking to control everything, which ultimately results in us becoming control freaks. And being a control freak is exhausting, alienating, and destructive to our relationships with God and those around us.
So, what can we do if we realise, or we are consistently being told we are being controlling?
1. Check yourself regularly and be honest about any behaviours that signify that you always have to be in charge. Face facts and don’t make excuses for your controlling traits, for unchecked control freaks are ultimately damaging to everything and everyone in their world.
2. Acknowledge you can’t control everything – take a break. Let someone else step up, and don’t intervene when they do. Consider what you would do if you weren’t having to be in charge all the time, and then choose to relinquish control and go and have some fun.
3. Delegate to others – start small and make an effort to equip and release others to grow in their abilities. We limit people’s potential when we are always in charge or dictating the way things have to be. Let others have a go, and extend to them the grace to also fail in the process – that’s how we learn.
4. Give people a choice – don’t tell people what they should do, but offer options and the opportunity to have an input, and the freedom to choose.
5. Be quiet, and be positive – there is no point giving people freedom and then undermining their decision and input by being negative or fearful. That’s just another form of control. Sit back, be quiet and relax!
6. Trust God – When we put our lives, and the things and people we care about into God’s hands He holds it all together, and then we don’t have to. Believe it or not He is not afraid of mistakes and failure and promises He will work things out for our good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to Hispurpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Trust God to be the one in control rather than you, because where He is there is freedom. He is the creator of the Universe after all. Let others step up, contribute, use their skills, and share the spotlight, and relax and enjoy life.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Prayer: Lord help me to recognise when I’m being a control freak and to take the steps to let go of control. Please help me to relax, allow others the freedom to choose, and to trust you more. In Jesus Name Amen.