Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

by Cliff Ravenscraft on September 8, 2004

in Blog

I found an awesome website called troubledwith.com where I found this article titled, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, How to break free from the control freak inside of you.
I have given it a quick read and found it very interesting. Of course, anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a pretty big control freak. I'm pasting the article below (without permission). If you like what you read, check out troubledwith.com for other articles. I may paste more if I get some time to read them and think that they are good enough to post.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
by Margaret Feinberg
Control freaks. No one likes to be around them. And deep down, no one wants to be one. Unfortunately, nearly everyone is a control freak some of the time.
Controlling behavior manifests itself in different ways. Some people are control freaks when it comes to their kitchen. For others, it's their car, job or children. For still others, it's their schedule or level of cleanliness.
So at what point do you go beyond being competent and become a control freak — when you begin to care about something so much that you will do whatever it takes to get your own way? Unfortunately, controlling tendencies can creep into all aspects of your life: relationships, home and even workplace.
Here are some red flags to help you identify a control freak:
Do you have a hard time delegating a project to others?
Do you go to the mat to show someone that you are right, even if it's trivial?
Do you yell at other drivers, even when they can't hear you?
Do you have low patience for someone who doesn't get to the point in a conversation?
Do you feel anxious when someone suggests something different from what you have planned for the day or evening?
Do people think of you as stubborn or inflexible?
If you answered “yes” to several of these questions, then there are probably some areas that you need to surrender.
The most obvious consequence of being a control freak is the hurt they cause to those around them. “Control freaks send out a message that says, ‘I don't trust you' and ‘You're not competent,' ” Les Parrot, author of The Control Freak, explains. “This message can become oppressive once you've worked with someone or lived with someone long enough — and you are susceptible to being controlled by them.”
Control freaks are only comfortable when everyone complies with their wishes and everything works according to their plan. Those who interact regularly with a control freak are forced to walk on eggshells, which prevents them from developing a deep, intimate relationship with the controlling personality.
According to Steve Arterburn, founder of New Life Clinics, if the controlling behavior isn't dealt with, then it can begin to ruin family relationships and friendships. Mounting anger and frustration result in control tirades and can eventually undermine a marriage.
Fortunately, controlling tendencies can be overcome. Here are a few steps to get you on the right path:
Understand the root. Anxiety and fear are at the root of controlling behavior. People who are anxious — about success, failure, appearances — often become controlling as a way of managing that anxiety. To free oneself from controlling behavior generally involves facing your fears and inviting the Lord to help you calm them.
Accept the fact that different is not bad. Always consider the good in people and in situations that frustrate you. Learn to appreciate diversity, creativity, and even what appears to be inefficiency.
Talk to God. Pray and ask Him to show you when you're being a control freak. When the moment is exposed, humble yourself before God and those around you. Repent and admit that you are wrong to those involved.
Submit controlling areas of behavior to God. Being a control freak is just one manifestation of a lack of surrender. Begin choosing to trust God with the issues and outcomes of your life. Ask Him to give you a greater faith and trust in Him.
Consult the Bible. A number of scriptures deal with the issue of control. Spend time memorizing and meditating on them:
Proverbs 14:29: “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.”
Proverbs 16:32: “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”
Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Romans 8:3-4: “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
James 1:26: “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”
James 3:1-2: “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”
Remember that above all, God wants to be in control of your life. And He who began a good work in you promises to bring it to fulfillment. So keep pursuing Him. And don't sweat the small stuff.

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