Biblical Advice If You Struggle with Control


Faith-based insight and advice for those who struggle to find comfort outside of relying only on themselves for outcomes.


Whether you’re a type-A personality, commonly known for your proactive, rigidly organized nature or you find yourself craving control regarding random, unknown circumstances, it’s not unusual to find comfort in taking charge. Your sense of control surges and your anxiety lessens when you seek to figure out every little thing with the end goal of arranging a specific outcome.

I get it! Believe me, I do!

I vividly remember, five years ago, when I needed emergency gallbladder surgery. I was visiting Israel at the time, thousands of miles from home, and I was rushed to the hospital after experiencing excruciating stomach pain. Before my surgery, I asked my doctor tons of questions. My questioning was more than me wanting to understand the surgery process. Instead, I felt as though I needed to know every detail about my operation, especially before I went under anesthesia. In fact, I asked him so many questions that I delayed my surgery by a half hour. As my questions persisted, and my doctor graciously continued answering, my husband then grabbed my hand and guided me into prayer. He knew I needed to calm down and let go. A few moments later, I went into surgery, into the unknown.

I wasn’t necessarily trying to stall my surgery. Instead, I tried to rely on myself to bring relief, control and comfort to the unknown.

I was trying to take my safety and peace out of Christ’s hands and place myself in the driver’s seat, the seat where the Lord should always sit.

The truth is, God is the ultimate safety net, and apart from Him, we are powerless. Once you know this and accept this, you can begin rewriting your controlling narrative.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

There’s a simple truth about being a Christian and a control freak—you must get comfortable with the uncomfortable. While certain parts of life may be within our control, God is the only one in command. Even better, He has a plan for each of our lives and always has. His plan for your life wasn’t created at the last minute or in haste. He knew the ins and outs of our lives long before we ever knew Him.

Look at it this way—you could worry and work yourself into a tizzy over something you have no control over, or you can trust Him and toss your anxiety to the wind because you know your heart is in God’s hands. Worry and trust cannot go hand in hand. Plus, God has a perfect track record! Who better to trust than Him, the pillar of perfection? Remember the truth of His love and let go of the control you so desperately want to gain. Ask yourself if you think you can control your life better than God. I could never measure up to God, not even close, and when I ask myself that question, I inadvertently check my ego, and that’s exactly what I need in moments of seeking control.

The enemy wants you to steer away from prayer and, instead, rely on yourself to solve problems. He finds different ways to tempt you into abandoning your prayer life so that you can stay in the toxic cycle of worry and anxiety. When your need for control takes precedence over your faith, refute the enemy and do not allow him to become a barrier to your relationship with Christ. Remind yourself to let go and let God. Rather than opt to exercise controlling tendencies, revert to prayer. I encourage you to seek His help. You will be pleasantly surprised how effective you become when you let go and trust God.