The seduction of control #1: The tug of war

Years ministering as a healing pray-er allow me to meet various kind of hurt people. One theme that occurs again and again is control issue: someone got hurt because overcontrolling by someone important: parents, spouses, bosses etc; or someone is in trouble because of their controlling nature that wreak havoc in the relationship: with God or any body else. And it is not surprising to me because I have my own reservation about control: I remember vividly the discussion and arguments with my father about… control, singing ‘I want to break free..” to the top of my voice,  reading Ivan Illich “Deschooling Society”, you name it, I’ve been in control war since I could remember.

But when it comes to my own life, I crave for more control. I learn coding/programming when I was younger because I feel that computer is something that is very logical and controllable. I learn to cope with dissapointment in life by imagining and fantasy: there was a time in my life that I have to fantasizing first before I could go to sleep. The fantasy runs wild, from creating my own Star Trek universe, Tolkienesque fantasy, to the standard dreaming of becoming superhero/billionaire/perfect guy storyline. I demand a certain standard from people around me, especially when it come to something that they create… It was a tug of war inside of me. In one side I disdain control to me, but I love to have more and more control on my surroundings. 

So control is something that is enjoyable, even addictive, as long as I am the one waving the control wand. It is  expressed in many kinds of attitude: perfectionism,  legalism, workaholic, addictions, obsessive habit, performance orientation, fantasizing… the list could go on. But God, in His grace, did not let me continue unchecked.

I was being ministered for something that I could not remembered. But I remember that God reminding me that at the time my focus of study is on theocentric – living focused on God. And in teaching and sermon I urge people to have a God-focused thinking, feeling and behaviour. But one thing that struck me is one awareness: I told people to follow GOD (in Heaven, Creator of the universe), but deep inside me i have  my own god: myself. And this god is the one that I want to follow. 

I repented of my attitude. But that doesn’t free me automatically of my control issue. I still have this tug of war inside me. Now I am more aware of my reactions to people that I feel want to control me, but also my tendencies to control other people. I learn to stop my fantasizing tendecies. I learn not to based my life on performance. But most of all, I learn to surrender control to God, who have every right to control me, but doesn’t do that. I learn to enjoy God’s grace and love in my life.

Coming up: The seduction of control #2: Source of unhealthy control 


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