I’m persuaded that the dominant goal in our behaviors, social tactics, and life decisions is control – or at least the sense of control.

We attempt to control others. We seek to control the risks we face. We hope to control the way we are perceived. We control circumstances, risk, emotions, perceptions, etc. I think we seek to control almost everything we can possibly control.

It’s natural! It’s survival. Control brings, we think, peace, safety, success, and power.

This sounds totally cynical and I know many will disagree, but let me clarify. I don’t mean that every person is a control-freak or a manipulative jerk. I simply mean that human beings are always more comfortable when our environments are under our control. So, we seek control in a number of intuitive ways, and many of these actually sabotage our influence, limit our success, and complicate our relationships.

As I’ve been reflecting on this for a few months, I’m starting to observe the ways I attempt to exercise control in my environments and relationships. What I’m learning is that when I surrender control, or refuse to reach for my control tool-box, I actually find greater freedom, stronger influence, and deeper relationships. I am learning more about myself and submitting my intuitive control-seeking  “techniques” to God. It’s very liberating, empowering and adventurous. I’m finding my relationships more energizing and empowering and I’m finding my security in God’s control.

Here’s my major point. Are you aware of the ways you seek control? Do you understand your natural tendencies and how they affect your relationships? Can you surrender your need for control and offer the strengths of your identity to others without fear?

It is in our self-awareness that we find the opportunity to choose – choose to release control and walk by faith, hope, and love.