I am convinced that there is something we all want more than anything else in this life, and that thing is CONTROL! More than power . . . more than prestige . . . more than position . . . more than pleasure . . . more than prosperity . . . more than anything else, we want control. The more control we have, the better we feel. We mistakenly believe that when we are in control our lives will work out better—with much more order and far less uncertainty.
Webster’s defines a “control freak” as someone whose behavior indicates a powerful need to control people or circumstances in everyday matters. Because of a lack of trust in others, a control freak moves beyond the borders of what would be considered a normal and rational desire for some measure of control in life. It gets even worse for the Christian control freak. Their desire to control life is the clear and present evidence of a lack of trust—not only in others, but in God Himself. This can be seen in a single area of life or in many areas.
Control freaks always know the right way and best way of doing things; when you are not doing it their way, they let you know about it! They try to criticize you into their control. They try to condemn you into their control. They try to conform you into their control. Their right way of doing things becomes the only way of doing things, and when you resist their controlling demands, they judge you for your “controlling” nature.
They see the world as black and white, because without any grey areas they have more control over things. Their narrow and dogmatic field of vision of the world around them helps them to manage their lives, while at the same time micro-managing the lives of everyone around them. My friend and pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, says Christian control freaks “make up formulas and anxiously follow them to control their manufactured lives.”
If any of this is resonating with you like it is with me, I want you to know there is a cure for the Christian control freak in you . . . and it is only to be found in the defiant grace of the Gospel.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)
Only the defiant grace of the Gospel can free you from the overwhelming need to try and control everything in life. The defiant grace the apostle Paul had been given through the Gospel allowed him to not think so highly of himself and step down from the throne of his life, allowing Jesus His rightful place. Defiant grace propelled Paul to the periphery of his life, where he could clearly see that the only One who has any control over anything is the Lord Jesus Christ. The more Paul surrendered control of his life to Christ, the less controlling he became in the lives of others.
You see, there is a Christian control freak who is truly faithful to the truths of the Gospel: it is the person who is controlled by the Spirit of Christ in every area of life. For such a man or woman, their most passionate and profound desire in all-the world is to be under the control of the only One who knows what is best for us in every area of life.
Make no mistake, only the defiant grace of the Gospel can free you from the overwhelming need to be controlling, because Jesus has everything under His control—from the biggest dream you have in life to the smallest detail. The DNA of every human who has ever lived all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden, is one of control. And it is only the transforming power of the Gospel and the defiant grace it delivers that can free us from our desire to control life. Defiant grace delivers you from the notion that you are not just the smartest person in the room, but the only smart person in the room!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!