Fear, Love and Control

After my most recent blog post, Kent Burgess, a good friend of mine who blogs at Faithfully Dangerous, sent the following quote. It was part of a longer quote published the same day. I love it, and tragically it is too often true of many people:

Love is always about giving up control, and people are trained to think of taking control—even of God. In my experience, most people would sooner be afraid and in control than in love and out of control.

Catholic theolgian Richard Rohr in Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety.

But I guess this begs the question, how much control can you be in if you’re so afraid? Isn’t control for all of us only an illusion that time will eventually unmask? Perhaps it is far better for us to find our peace in learning to live loved rather than in the frantic activities we employ to prop up our illusion of contro.

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16 Comments
  1. kent February 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I get the feeling Richard would agree with control just being an illusion. When we are trapped operating out of fear we certainly are left attempting to control things. We might convince ourselves that we can/should control things but it’s just not reality. This has to be one of the most freedom producing changes that Father helped me walk into. Living in the awareness and security of Father’s love makes accepting this reality possible and when that happens, the frantic life is transformed into a life of rest.

  2. kent February 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I get the feeling Richard would agree with control just being an illusion. When we are trapped operating out of fear we certainly are left attempting to control things. We might convince ourselves that we can/should control things but it’s just not reality. This has to be one of the most freedom producing changes that Father helped me walk into. Living in the awareness and security of Father’s love makes accepting this reality possible and when that happens, the frantic life is transformed into a life of rest.

  3. Bill Ooms February 17, 2009 at 7:26 am

    I’m starting to view “control” as being synonymous with “I want you to do it my way”. Isn’t that at the core of our sinful nature — selfishly wanting our own way all the time? Operating in the Father’s love is putting your focus on His way.

  4. Bill Ooms February 17, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I’m starting to view “control” as being synonymous with “I want you to do it my way”. Isn’t that at the core of our sinful nature — selfishly wanting our own way all the time? Operating in the Father’s love is putting your focus on His way.

  5. Jon February 17, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with Richard’s quote. As a recovering control freak, I was forced to face the question: What am I afraid of? And as I have learned through Wayne’s teaching and an extensive study on God’s love, it all boils down to being afraid of people’s opinions of us. If I know I am loved unconditionally by my Father, I don’t have to try to manipulate situations and people to make me look better. But man is this a hard, long road – trying to unravel years of thinking this way is hard, but man is it FREEING! Like Richard said, it is so hard to just trust God loves me and LET GO of all that I am afraid of, but I know it is the best way, and step by step, I am getting there. Les Parrot wrote a great book on this simply called Control Freak. It was the first step God used in leading down the road to finding freedom, eventually resulting in The Shack and He Loves Me. Thanks Wayne for another great quote – I will use it in our Bible study that is working through He Loves Me!

  6. Phil Vazquez February 17, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I love that quote… I think someone posted this quote as a response to one of your blogs awhile back… I think the topic was on a St. Francis book you were reading…

  7. Jon February 17, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with Richard’s quote. As a recovering control freak, I was forced to face the question: What am I afraid of? And as I have learned through Wayne’s teaching and an extensive study on God’s love, it all boils down to being afraid of people’s opinions of us. If I know I am loved unconditionally by my Father, I don’t have to try to manipulate situations and people to make me look better. But man is this a hard, long road – trying to unravel years of thinking this way is hard, but man is it FREEING! Like Richard said, it is so hard to just trust God loves me and LET GO of all that I am afraid of, but I know it is the best way, and step by step, I am getting there. Les Parrot wrote a great book on this simply called Control Freak. It was the first step God used in leading down the road to finding freedom, eventually resulting in The Shack and He Loves Me. Thanks Wayne for another great quote – I will use it in our Bible study that is working through He Loves Me!

  8. Phil Vazquez February 17, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I love that quote… I think someone posted this quote as a response to one of your blogs awhile back… I think the topic was on a St. Francis book you were reading…

  9. Tammy February 17, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    This reminds me of a great quote I picked up from somewhere recently:

    “Life is waiting for the ones who lose control.”

    Papa’s getting me there… slowly but surely.

  10. David Olson February 17, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Wayne, I needed to hear that quote today. I’ve been struggling with how to reply to someone who is trying to exercise his “god given” authority over me and my family. He wants to get together to “show us love” but he’s sidestepping the issues of authoritarianism that I’ve raised. I’ve been wanting to respond out of my own need to control the situation but have saved my response in the draft folder for over a week now. I think that was probably a good idea and it should probably stay there. Thanks for continuing to write and post on topics that are relevant to every day christian living.

  11. Tammy February 18, 2009 at 12:01 am

    This reminds me of a great quote I picked up from somewhere recently:

    “Life is waiting for the ones who lose control.”

    Papa’s getting me there… slowly but surely.

  12. David Olson February 18, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Wayne, I needed to hear that quote today. I’ve been struggling with how to reply to someone who is trying to exercise his “god given” authority over me and my family. He wants to get together to “show us love” but he’s sidestepping the issues of authoritarianism that I’ve raised. I’ve been wanting to respond out of my own need to control the situation but have saved my response in the draft folder for over a week now. I think that was probably a good idea and it should probably stay there. Thanks for continuing to write and post on topics that are relevant to every day christian living.

  13. Fran February 18, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I woke up in the middle of the night with that ‘voicemail from hell’ anxiety as my husband calls it about our upcoming kitchen remodel. A thousand little questions all clamoring to be answered and almost all of them about control over this event—ours, mine, his, theirs! What a timely quote from Kent.

  14. Fran February 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I woke up in the middle of the night with that ‘voicemail from hell’ anxiety as my husband calls it about our upcoming kitchen remodel. A thousand little questions all clamoring to be answered and almost all of them about control over this event—ours, mine, his, theirs! What a timely quote from Kent.

  15. kent February 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    WOW, did I ever run into two such cases today at work. The cool thing was they both are beginning to see there is a problem due to the problems it is creating inside them and their relationships.

    One of them I suggested The Shack to months ago. He told me today that since I suggested it he has had a steady stream of people suggest that he read it. He and I had a great conversation and he was asking some wonderful questions.

    The second one was in from Texas to see her parents and always plans her trips back around the time she needs to come see me to have her hair taken care of (for those who don’t know, I am a hairstylist) In the middle of our conversation she asked me if I had read The Shack and what I thought of it. She said she is surrounded by friends that keep trying to get her to read it. She has two young children and doesn’t have time to read anything. I suggested the audio book and she acted like that was something she could fit in.

    Even though it seems most people don’t want to face these things, some do. When you get so tired of the frantic life why wouldn’t you want to face up to it all?

  16. kent February 21, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    WOW, did I ever run into two such cases today at work. The cool thing was they both are beginning to see there is a problem due to the problems it is creating inside them and their relationships.

    One of them I suggested The Shack to months ago. He told me today that since I suggested it he has had a steady stream of people suggest that he read it. He and I had a great conversation and he was asking some wonderful questions.

    The second one was in from Texas to see her parents and always plans her trips back around the time she needs to come see me to have her hair taken care of (for those who don’t know, I am a hairstylist) In the middle of our conversation she asked me if I had read The Shack and what I thought of it. She said she is surrounded by friends that keep trying to get her to read it. She has two young children and doesn’t have time to read anything. I suggested the audio book and she acted like that was something she could fit in.

    Even though it seems most people don’t want to face these things, some do. When you get so tired of the frantic life why wouldn’t you want to face up to it all?

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