“Love does not dominate; it cultivates.” – Johann Wolfgang Goethe
In the final segment of our study on loving our circle, we explore the art of letting go. Of what you ask? Simply the need to control our lives and the lives of others. Now I know what you’re thinking: I’m not some control freak, I just have better ways of doing things; I have a type A personality. Trust me, I know you mean well, but the truth is we may not even realize we’re treating people this way. Often times we employ these controling behaviors and strategies so invisibly that we’re unaware of our actions.
All of us push people’s buttons to create the experiences and relationships that serve our purpose. Some seek to control by being perfectionists and others by being intimidators. Then there are the worrywarts who control using anxiety while others are constant planners, and some who are micromanagers. In any case, our need to control often stems from core issues in our lives.
The six most common core issues are: hurt, insecurity, pride, guilty, selfishness, and unrealistic expectations. These issues tend to be the underlying reason for our desire to control. Wordly thinking says that taking matters into our own hands will eliminate the fear of the unknown. However, this keeps us from trusting God and others. Godly thinking says that the unknown is a place of trusting God and that perfect love casts out all fear.
Lasting love isn’t just about what you can add but also what you can let go of in relationships. Simon Peter’s relationship with Jesus is a perfect example of someone who fought for control. The fishing story in Luke 5 describes how Peter had toiled all night with his fishing mates only to repeatedly come up empty. After some resistance and questioning Jesus’ instructions, he finally receives his largest catch ever by giving up control and obeying the master’s instructions.
This miracle illustrates for us the benefit of giving God control of every area of our lives… not just the spiritual things. He wants to be included in your education, career, friendships, and romantic relationships. There is peace in submission and power in letting go!