What causes fights and quarrels among you?
You want something, but don’t get it. James 4:1-2
Few things cause as much conflict as trying to control other people. Some attempts to control others are blatantly self-serving, such as maximizing our own profit or influence at another person’s expense (Gen. 29:15-30). But the more common type of control involves trying to persuade, manipulate, or force people to do things that simply make our lives more comfortable and convenient.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 122.
Food for Thought
Our attempts at controlling others are totally dishonorable.
There are a few people who are blatantly self-serving; the rest of us are skilled at subtly trying to get our way and make life easier for ourselves. It may very well be one of the hardest things in the world to do–let people be. If we let others be, then that leaves us with only one option of somebody to work on–ourselves.
This is not some ego-heavy, self-focus. No, this is continually searching our own hearts, minds, souls, and strength to see where elements of selfish persuasion, me-centered manipulation, and it’s-all-about-me attitudes are being used in our relationships with other people. It’s actually a very honoring way to live.
We honor God by admitting that He is in control, not us. We honor other people and the way God is working in their lives. And we honor ourselves, realizing what an honor it is to daily walk with a Savior who loves us and is conforming us into His image.
~~This is so true, so hard and so convicting. I’m in the midst of struggling to not be controlling over the boy I gave birth to. To let him have control/responsibility over himself and his actions. Sit back and think on this one a minute, is this something you should be working on?
~Blessings, Home Engineer