Controlling People

The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…

The abundant life does not try to control people.  

If we are truthful, we would like to control people. In fact, we would like to control every situation and outcome. We just like to be in control, don’t we? After all, we think we know what is best. We might not actually say that out loud but secretly that’s what most of us believe. Of course, we know controlling everything is not realistic, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

Many don’t realize that the concept of control is an illusion. So much of life cannot be controlled. We can’t control the past or the future. We can’t control the weather or natural disasters. We can’t control time. Just ask those of us who are aging and we will tell you that time marches on—and usually all over our bodies. We can’t control cats. Well, you can try but most cats will do what they want to do, much like people. Speaking of people, you can’t control them either.  

People will think what they want to think, like what they want to like, believe what they want to believe, and treat you how they want to treat you. You can’t control their motives. You can’t control their actions because they will do what they want to do. We just can’t control or change others no matter how hard we try.

However, we can try to control ourselves. Believe it or not, the positive changes we make in our own lives can have a beneficial effect on those around us. There is an old adage that says: Be the change you want to see in others.

We can control our thoughts and mindset. (2 Corinthians 10:5) We can control how we treat others. (Matthew 7:12) We can offer forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:32) We can practice what we preach. (James 1:22) We can be a light in a darkened world. (Matthew 5:16) We can express thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) We can choose to react with kindness instead of anger. (Romans 12:17-20) Yes, we can do this and so much more with God’s help.

In fact, this is what God wants us to “put out” into the world. I’ve heard it said that we control the output, but God controls the outcome. God can take what we do and use it for His glory.

Those living the abundant life know that they cannot control others. So they let go of their preconceived ideas of what is best for everyone, and place people into God’s loving hands. 


…I have come that they may have life and that they

may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)

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