I don’t really know where or how. Maybe it was all those years spent being in control, or at least attempting to control the environment I was in, in law enforcement. I learned a lesson very early on in my career.
You better be able to control your environment or people get hurt. Or die. You are in charge. Take control.
That’s how I was trained at least. And how I trained others. Pretty soon things like that become ingrained in the fabric of your heart and soul. It’s hard to change what you are and who you become out of necessity.
Look, I’m not blaming the job I did for all those years for all my issues.
Truth is, it’s not about what I did for a living. It’s about my heart.
I have struggled and still struggle so much with this issue of control. I’m still trying to control my environment all the time and in every way. If you’re a cop or soldier, this is a good thing.
It’s also antithetical to the gospel.
As I walk with Christ, I learn so much about sin and my fallen nature in my failings and stupidity. When I sin, I hate myself. That very sense of self-loathing shows me that I need the gospel desperately. (See Romans 7)
Oh how much I need Christ!
There are some things I’ve learned in this battle.
1. Being a control freak steals joy from others and kills joy in you.
No matter how tightly I squeeze, things continue to slip through my fingers and the more I find myself joyless. And when I turn this on my family, it steals their joy also. I’ve learned this painfully when it comes to my children. I have seen the joy on my daughter’s face turn to tears when I try to control rather than teach and guide. And I’ve seen the pain on my wife’s face and heard it in her voice when I turn my need for control on her and our children.
I have found myself joyless at times in this struggle. Attempts to control others will steal joy.
2. Being a control freak means you doubt God’s sovereignty.
Let’s be honest. Our attempts to control our environment really mean that we don’t believe either in God’s sovereignty or His goodness. If we really believed God was sovereign or that He is good, why try to control what is outside our control anyway? We have this weird idea that God is somehow not happy with us or out to get us if we step out of line.
If God is in control, why do we try to control everything and everyone? I’m not advocating some type of fatalism, I’m simply saying that God is sovereign and that means we don’t have to be.
3. Being a control freak means you really don’t believe the gospel.
I’ve come to this conclusion for myself. My problem is one of belief. If I truly believed that Christ is enough, why do I worry about trying to make others into my image? Shouldn’t my goal be to show them Christ and the beauty of the gospel so that He can make them into His image?
My problem is one of belief.
If Christ is enough, why try to control?
Is Christ enough?
Maybe this is a problem for you also. Maybe not. Just know that Christ is enough. Pray for me and I’ll pray for you that we would all be conformed to the image of the Son.
Soli Deo Gloria!