We all want to be in control. We freak out when we are not in control. Relationships often end over petty arguments because when someone disagrees with us it communicates we cannot control them. When you cannot control someone it leads to mistrust.
Being a trustworthy person is not simply telling the truth. You can tell the truth all day long and the people closest to you can still mistrust you.
I was shocked the first time someone said they couldn’t trust me. It’s only happened once in my life. I’m far from perfect, but I try to be an honest person. I believe the person I am on stage is the person you will see when we hang out. I’m flawed, imperfect, can get crabby, can be defensive, and I stink at admin. I’m flawed, but before this interaction I had never had anyone say, “I don’t trust you.”
So when the words were spoken I was shook. I immediately went to some people close to me to ask if I had a major blind spot. No one confirmed what this one person said.
I was left scratching my head.
A few weeks after this incident I read a blog post entitled “Church Boards Do Not Have To Be Dysfunctional.”
It was written by a blogger that I read regularly. Some weeks I skim the posts. Other weeks I read the whole thing. This post was a vlog (Video blog) and I wasn’t interested in making the time to watch it. I decided to skim the recap at the bottom to simply see if there was anything worth coming back to watch the video once I had time. A line that stood out to me was…
“I would argue that two defining characteristics of church cultures are bureaucracy and control. These are often fueled by a third characteristic: mistrust.”
That caught my attention because of the recent comment made towards me.
After watching the video a light went off in my brain. It was clear from the video that control is linked to power, and a lack of control leads to mistrust.
Control leads to mistrust.
This is difficult because we can’t control anyone.
Humans were created to be free.
Sure we need boundaries, but the freedom to choose is a powerful part of the human experience. We don’t have to fall in love, we choose to. We don’t have to be friends with people, we choose to. We don’t have to serve God, we choose to. We don’t have to work at the job we have, we choose to.
I’m convinced that a lot of our problems with God come from the fact that He is in control and we are not.
The essence of faith is trust. In order to trust you must give up control.
When we can’t control someone it leads to using fear tactics.
The Church has been guilty of this.
To control people it’s tempting to use fear. To get people to stop smoking beer and drinking marijuana while they sleep with anything that has a pulse the Church has, in times, used fear tactics.
The problem is the fear tactics don’t lead to life change. It leads to secret sins. People are still going to do what they want to do, they will just learn to hide it in the presence of someone they fear.
So what do we do?
If we ultimately can’t control others what is the answer?
We must commit to the following…
It is not my job to control other people, but it is my job to control myself.
If we spent as much energy trying to control ourselves as we did others no one would be overweight, addicted, a gossip, insecure, envious, etc.
It is so stink’n difficult to control myself.
But that’s all I can control.
I can’t control what others are going to say or do to me. I can control how I respond.
This takes intentional practice.
When we practice controlling ourselves we develop the skills necessary to thrive when the poo hits the fan.
I’m a work in progress on this. I have a long way to go.
It’s so easy to get impatient with my kids. It’s so easy to say I’m only going to eat one piece of pizza and then devour four…and breadsticks…and then at the point my diet is shot so I might as well eat ice cream. Go big or go home. Oh me. I digress.
It’s so easy to be lazy when it comes to myself and to become hyper focused when it comes to controlling others.
You cannot control others. I cannot control others. Let’s work today on making the choice to control ourselves.
When a person controls themselves well it inspires others to change.
What relationships do you attempt to control the most? What area do you struggle to control yourself the most? How have you seen control and mistrust linked?