I’m a control freak. I’ve lived most of my life battling the urge to control everything around me. I’m going to let you in on a little secret I’ve discovered: This life is temporary. Okay, maybe it’s not so much of a secret, but it’s something we definitely forget about as we try to go through life controlling everything around us.
I’ve found incredible freedom in realizing God is truly in control. Our goal is not a clean house, well-behaved children, a promotion at work, or being able to oversee every last detail of life. You may be great at controlling all these things (I feel like I am most of the time too!), but knowing this place is temporary is a game-changer for us control freaks. When we turn our attention to an eternal perspective, it helps us to let go of control and let God handle what’s His to begin with.
So, how can we recognize when we’re living the life of a control freak? Let’s look at a few signs and learn how we can allow God to be the one in charge.
- You constantly find yourself feeling overwhelmed. A huge red flag for us control freaks is the way feelings overtake us when we aren’t in control. Peace, patience, and many other fruits of the Spirit are tossed aside for less notable qualities like anxiety, fear, and feeling overwhelmed. Our God is the God of peace. When He is in control, He brings peace in ways we could never imagine.
- There’s no time in your day for rest. God taught us from the very beginning to rest and even modeled what rest looks like. When we live as control freaks, there isn’t a moment in the day for rest or time with Him, because we allow ourselves to be over-scheduled and overwhelmed over-doers.
- You fear letting go of control in every important area of your life. Our lives may be very full, whether it be with kids, work, relationships, activities—or more. I tend to disguise my control issues behind a blanket of organization and type-A tendencies. But the hard truth is, I hold tight to control because I convince myself I can do a better job than God. Fully devoted followers of Christ will give full control to Him because they know the importance of letting go. Jesus told us in Luke 17:33, “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
If and when you notice any of these signs in your life, and the need for control is creeping in, it’s time to let go and allow God back in. Our enemy uses our need for control as a way to take our eyes off Jesus and put them on ourselves. But remember, this world is temporary! Let go and let God take control.