The dictionary definition of control is the power to influence, direct and determine people’s behaviour or the course of events. It is to sway, command, dominate, and rule.

Anytime we find ourselves predominantly wanting to dictate and control others is a good time to step back and ask ourselves why? Why do we want to be in charge? Why do we want to be in control so much?

These are good questions to ask because when we seek to be in control, we limit others’ ability to grow, determine and find their purpose and potential in God. As parents or leaders, we can think we are helping, but if the “guidance” we offer is too heavy-handed, we will limit and even suffocate others and stifle what God wants to do in their lives.

Today, take a look at your behaviour, attitudes, actions, speech, and how you treat others and consider whether you are controlling, and if so, why?

Honestly, ask God and those close to you if you are a control freak, and be prepared to hear the answer. Because if we do keep controlling others, eventually people around you will find a means to escape, seeking freedom away from your control.

If you do realise you are controlling or numerous people have said you are a control freak, then choose to:

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 unchecked control freaks ultimately damage 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 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 of dictating how 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 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 His purpose.” (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 to step up, contribute, share the spotlight, and then relax and enjoy your 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 understanding;
 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Prayer: Lord, please help me to be honest about whether I am controlling and why I find the need to be in charge all the time. Would you please help me relax, allow others the freedom to choose, and to trust you more so I don’t have to be in control. In Jesus name Amen.