Living with Control Freaks
I’ve been studying the subject of control. Specifically, I am trying to understand people with control issues.
All of us can be controlling at times, especially when we sense our lives are out of control. The best outlet for our need to control is a healthy behavior that gives us some mastery over our circumstances. Examples might include exercise and the completion of manual tasks, as long as we don’t slip into an obsessive pattern.
Classic signs of a controlling personality or “control freak” include:
- Jealousy when others establish relationships or participate in activities with people the controlling person believes himself to be in relationship with.
- The need to tell exaggerated stories in which the controlling individual is the hero who saves others from life situations.
- Frustration when posed with simple questions. Controlling people don’t want to share their processes or plans openly as it takes away their ability to change their narrative to suit their personal needs.
- A tendency to share negative perceptions and information about others, even to the point of fabrication, while downplaying other people’s hard work and accomplishments.
- Intentional or unintentional sabotaging of the efforts of others to prevent situations in which the controller might be overshadowed by others’ success.
I find it interesting those who are truly in control don’t feel a need to control. This is why classy sports coaches are able to honor their teams and their opponents after bitter defeats. They are in control of their person and know they will regroup and find success in the future.
Perhaps this is why the only One (the Godhead) who can be said to have complete control, has the ability to pursue His vision while permitting others to exercise free will and rebellion. God (and the Son and Spirit) is in control. His eternal plans are unchangeable, except in those areas where He has providentially permitted free choice.
At times, it may appear as though God has lost control. But when evil overwhelms us and sin damages our souls, God remains on the throne. He guides us through our valleys, cleanses us of unrighteousness and promised us an ultimate victory.
Ironically, although we want a God who controls undesirable events in our lives, we resist divine authority over our unholy behaviors and diseases of the heart. Then, when our sinful behavior causes us pain, we blame God for letting us suffer(or others for not taking more responsibility for our personal spiritual journey).
If God controlled everything in my life I wouldn’t need to let the Holy Spirit develop self-control in me, or to pray for wisdom and discernment. Come to think of it, God may be the least controlling person in my life.
And the only One who is truly in control.
It is up to me to decide whether I am going to play the freak or trust the Father.