“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
― C.S. Lewis
I love that quote because Lewis puts into words so many reasons we are like we are. For everything down here that we desire, there is a reason. We are made in God’s image and we cannot completely shake how He has created us no matter how hard we try.
For beings made in His image, we sure have messed this world up and it seems to be getting worse. Why?
One of the roots of all our dysfunction is our desire to be autonomous.
- not subject to control by others : INDEPENDENT
- having the power or right to govern itself
There is only one Being in the universe that fits that definition and it is God. He is self-sufficient and self-governing. He is the highest authority and He is free from any authority other than Himself. How grateful we all should be that He is also good. Our world shows His beauty and kindness as we look at all He has created. This world is fallen and sinful and yet it still takes our breath away. Every sunrise and every sunset tells us that the One who made it is all powerful, kind, and full of perfect goodness.
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden, it showed their desire to be like God. They wanted to be in charge, know everything there is to be known, and not have to answer to anyone.
As soon as they sinned, they turned on each other and kind of turned on God. His presence scared them. His questions bothered them. They were full of shame, and wanted to be far away from Him.
We have been that way ever since.
We don’t like questions that expose our inadequacy. We want to cover anything that would show our imperfections. We definitely don’t want God being in complete control of our lives. The very thought of saying to God, “You can do anything you want with me without any resistance on my part,” puts chills up and down most people’s spines.
Yet, most people would say, “I love God and He is perfectly good.”
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
I used to be that girl. My mouth said all the right things. However, my mouth rarely talked to God and my heart was closed off.
Why? I was a control freak.
To me, God was someone who filled children’s hospitals with little ones who had cancer. I thought if I only obeyed hard enough and tried to talk about Him constantly, maybe He wouldn’t hurt me and my precious children.
I was so fearful of everything and I tried to act like I wasn’t because I knew I was supposed to have joy and peace.
I believe being a control freak is natural. Let me explain.
When God created us, He meant to live in oneness with us. He never meant for us to be independent. Since the fall of mankind, we value independence and almost worship it. We want to be self-sufficient, have no problems, and control every single thing (and person) we care about. We try to make our world paradise.
People and circumstances have the power to completely throw us into a whirlwind of emotions. We try to have a good day and inevitably, something happens to ruin it.
Control is an illusion for us because it belongs to only One.
I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.
The reason we long for paradise is because we were created for paradise. We were not created for the chaos that now defines this planet. It scares us and it should. Our need for control is rooted in a great place.
It is rooted in our need for the One who is in complete control.
Saint Augustine writes in his Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
Until we let our control freakish selves become “one” with the One who is in control, we will live lonely, psycho lives. Yes, I said psycho.
To try to build a kingdom where we are the king or the queen means we are living in a delusional state.
Control freak, you are miserable to be around. Your tactics are devastating to yourself and everyone else.
A few symptoms of control freak illness.
- Silent treatment (so effective to control others without saying a word)
- Angry outbursts
- Suspicion of everyone
- Making people feel guilt, shame, and fear when they disappoint you
- Keeping grandchildren from grandparents (for no good reason)
- Posting things on social media to punish others (even if it’s veiled)
- Saying things to make people feel less than
- Creating an atmosphere of misery so you have company (nothing like a miserable person to ruin everyone’s good time)
There are probably more but those are a few I could think of.
It is my belief (I could be wrong) that 100% of us are control freaks. Have you ever met a 2 year old that didn’t want sovereign control over everything and everyone (maybe that’s scientific proof).
We can let our control freak tendencies drive us to one of two places; crazy or to God.
Most people will live in functional insanity until they get to the end of their lives. Control freaks normally don’t even die well. They claw and fight to stay in the place where they have a say so. When we leave earth, our little kingdom will cease to matter.
However, we can let our need to be in control drive us to God. If we are still breathing, it’s not too late. Bad beginnings can equal beautiful endings if we will cooperate with God.
God doesn’t hold us accountable for being a control freak. He will only hold us accountable for staying one. He understands our desire to control because He became one of us. Jesus had to deny His own desires. At one point, His desire to do His own will was so strong He sweated drops of blood as He struggled to let God have His way.
If we knew how tender He would be with us in our weaknesses, we would run to Him and gladly let Him be in control. The big difference between us and Him is He sees the big picture. We see a muddled picture and we will never fully understand what He is doing on this side of heaven.
We have to decide to be ok with that. That’s where faith comes in. We have to decide to believe reality; God is good. Everything He allows may not be good, but it is for ultimate good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
“And we know” means that we are aware. That means that we can quit being control freaks and micro managers because when we completely give up all our rights and control to God, He takes it upon Himself to make sure every single thing in our lives will work together for good.
Put any situation you can think of in that scripture.
And we know for those who love God
- Losing my job because I won’t compromise
- Finding out I have cancer
- Having my spouse walk away when I wanted it to work
- Even if people (my own family) hate me and reject me for my faith
WILL ALL work together for good.
Good? How in the world can God make a promise like that in the midst of a world that thought up crucifixion and concentration camps? Because He is God and He is in control of every single hair on our head and every single thing that happens.
There is no shame in admitting we need that assurance. He didn’t say that He was in control and we simply need to deal with whatever comes.
He left us with the massive truth that not only is He in control, but that He is making sure everything that touches His precious child (individually; yes you matter that much) will work together for good. For our troubled minds, that truth is a little piece of paradise.