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Control Freak or Genius?

August 31, 2011

Dedicated to all you control freaks out there! You’re welcome!

Is control an illusion as is so popularly purported these days? Is that a biblical idea – that control is just an illusion and something we really shouldn’t strive for? Is it always a sin to try to control something – or someone?

Exodus 32:25 – Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.

Hmm…. So, Aaron was expected to control the people.

And need I list the myriad of verses that speak on self-control?

Needless to say God is for us controlling some things and directing a few aspects of our lives!

Isn’t God proud of the man who structures his day with habit and hard work?

Doesn’t God smile upon the woman whose goals keep her out of trouble and on track to learn and grow and keep her life in order?

Any manager or supervisor over a house or a warehouse does well to have a well controlled crew and schedule.

The problem, the crux, the real issue most people have with what is labeled “control” is manipulation.

2 Timothy 3:6 – They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who ar loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires…

When individuals or groups engage in soulful persuasion of the fleshly-minded control degrades into manipulation.

What’s that mean? It means when you want something done your way, just because you want it that way – even though your way is better, I know, it’s still manipulation – you are putting your hands on another’s work or will. You know, how you drive a stick shift – you are manually shifting what an automatic transmission usually does. Well, some people are on a different auto pilot than you, and you can’t just decide to make them your manual mobile.

However, many people accuse others of being controlling and use the term in a derogatory sense. It really only stems from their own lack of organization or initiative to schedule and succeed in similar areas. Sometimes people are just better at controlling their lives, their mouths, and their outcomes than others! I personally love to be around people who can conduct themselves and their affairs well. I do not mind having a friend who likes to drive – because every friend I’ve had like that, truly can get us places faster and more directly. I tend to wander if I have someone to talk to – OK, sometimes even if I don’t. But so what! I’ve never had one of my controlled friends make fun of me.

I don’t mind when my controlling friends want to plan our schedule if we are on vacation together or they are visiting from out-of-town. They usually have a better way of organizing out time, saving us money, and making some terrific memories.

I’ve never been manipulated by one of them either. That’s not to say that might not be a temptation for them – for any of us – from time to time in their lives in general. But I wouldn’t call them “manipulators” when what they really are is successful at control.

I want to learn from them, and so should you.

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