Three Truths For The Control Freak

The control freak. defines the control freak as “a person who feels an obsessive need to exercise control over themselves and others and to take command of any situation.” As humans in a fallen world, we’ve all seen ourselves exercise some bit of an inner-control freak. From trying to control how people perceive you, to the road rage you experience when people are not driving as fast as you’d like them to, to getting super frustrated when that one person is not responding or doing what you told them to… there are many ways, whether minor or major, that our heart’s desire to be in control exposes itself. Our issue with wanting to always be in control might feel natural at times, but we all know it’s unhealthy and dangerous as it results in more pain and broken relationships.

Growing up as the oldest sibling I saw myself exercise the leadership role that many of times fell into an unhealthy role of controlling. Leading is important but when we look at the heart to why we are leading and see that it might be for ourselves to be in control rather than to serve selflessly, it can get ugly. Like unwanted obsessive thoughts, stress, anxiety, depression, holding your anger down just for it to blow up into an argument all because you couldn’t have it your way, just to name a few. So why do we have this issue of wanting to be in control? Besides wanting to be God of our own lives and run after things that we may think will make us happier than God Himself, we also try to control to protect ourselves from getting hurt again. Many of us have experienced some sort of pain or shame that really hurt and the sense of being in control makes us believe a lie that we can protect ourselves from it happening again, which unfortunately isn’t the truth. As we live out this life fighting the desire to be in control, here are three helpful truths for our control freak mentality.


    When I start to get mad because someone isn’t doing what I asked of them, I have to step back and remind myself, this life is not about me. I’m here to serve not to be served, just like Jesus. I will continue to be disappointed over and and over again when I make it about me. When frustration comes because the kingdom I’m trying to build for myself is falling apart, I have to remind myself that I am here to build God’s kingdom, not my own. Jesus has already secured my identity in the finished work of the cross, I don’t have to work for it. After all I’ve been given freely in Christ it should be my goal to eagerly point others to Him and not myself. Because we all know, we do a pretty poor job at trying to be God. At the end of the day, the world will continue to keep revolving after our time on earth is gone. This life is not all there is, its a vapor, it’ll be here for one moment and then gone the next. If I live out this life trying to have the best life now on this side of Heaven, I will be selfish, empty, and ultimately unsatisfied.


    Proverbs 16:9 says “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” This means God is in control and as much as we like to think we can be, we aren’t. And depending on ourselves as God will only result in burn out. We are either going to be led by God or be led by our fears. But singing “Jesus take the wheeelllllll” and repeating “Let Go, Let God” over and over is not going to get you very far. We need to recognize that God is the creator and the created will never be able to be God but we have been given a responsibility to respond, pick up our cross and follow Him in action as we depend upon the Holy Spirit.

    We belong to a beautiful and good God that we can trust! When our hearts wander and we attempt to be in control, we MUST remind ourselves that His plans are better than ours! His thoughts and ways are greater than ours! We need to get our eyes off of the tiny perspective and onto a bigger God, praying that His good and perfect will would be done in our lives. As we trust God and surrender to His control, we get to see Him accomplish incredible things through our lives and the lives around us. Which lets face it, will be much greater than what a human brain can try to muster up in our own might.


    When fear drives our desire to be in control let’s not run to things or even to ourself for safety, but to our true refuge. We can’t control the fact that we might get hurt again but we can run to a God who comforts. Psalm 46 is a wonderful psalm that speaks to who our God is, it says that He is our refuge, our strength, and our very present help in trouble therefore we will not fear. When we run to our God the only lasting refuge, we can rest in Him and be delivered from the enslavement of fear. Whether that’s the fear of failure, fear of man’s opinion, fear of death, fear of the future, the list can go on and on but when we are in God’s hands facing anything in life and death we don’t have to fear as we know that we belong to Him, the One who overcame the world and will one day make all things new.

    He knows our desires, most of all He knows that He is the only thing that can truly fufill us- and He does not withhold himself from us! That’s why we should look to him for everything we need, instead of trying to search for it in other things that we try to take control of and attempt to accomplish in our own strength. We have a comforter that we can go to about our past pain, present pain and future pain. We aren’t alone. God wants to invade our fears and doubts with the truth of His Word and bring healing. He wants us to trust in Him and find our confidence in Him. He wants to do a work in us to make us look more and more like His Son. We don’t have to be filled with worry, He will take care of us, it will all work out for our good and His glory. As we continue to face our inner-control freak daily, let us be encouraged that we can run to God in prayer and continue to hand over control to Him, to be led by Him, and choose to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to be our strength when we are weak. He is good, He is in control, and with Him we have nothing to fear.

Kellie Martin