Releasing Control: Your Pathway to a Peaceful Life
When we lived in Oslo, Norway, we had a close family friend who felt like an extension of our own family. There was never a need to make elaborate plans or stress about having a spotless home before inviting them over.
For some other friends, however, certain rooms would remain off-limits or at least hidden until they were tidy. With this close friend, we felt comfortable allowing them into every room of our home without hesitation. As close friends, we shared a profound respect and understanding, which allowed us to let go of the need for control and perfection in our home environment. Our connection allowed us to embrace each other’s imperfections, creating a comfortable and judgment-free environment.
This authentic bond between us captured the essence of what truly mattered — reveling in each other’s presence and nurturing our blossoming friendship. Our mutual respect and understanding eliminated any need for pretense, freeing us from the pressure of maintaining picture-perfect homes during visits. Our connection radiated an undeniable sense of inner peace and authenticity.
The contrast between these relationships is remarkably striking. In the first case, our profound and shared connection opened the doors to a more intimate involvement in each other’s lives. However, with the latter, our bond hasn’t reached a level of depth that would grant them access or influence over the private aspects of my life.
Recognizing the Effects of Control
This morning, I woke up with a lingering sense of anger and agitation stemming from a mistake I made yesterday. I was crushed by my insensitivity. The way I spoke to my husband was terrible, and I couldn’t help but wonder how I reached this point. Filled with guilt and a heavy heart, I sought to uncover the root cause of my actions.
Coincidentally, I happened to come across this amazing verse that really got me thinking: “Those who are controlled (dominated) by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled (dominated) by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5). It was like a lightbulb went off in my head — this deep insight helped me understand my inner struggle and showed me a way to find that much-needed inner peace.
Here’s What I discovered…
- My thoughts and actions directly reveal who I have allowed to influence me — God’s or the devil’s.
- The rooms in my life I give God access to are the rooms He will control. And it is in those areas that I will experience His peace. In other words, the degree to which God will control my life depends on the areas in my life I have willingly given Him access to.
- If I relinquish 30% control to God (Holy Spirit), God will positively influence 30% of my thoughts, words, and actions.
A Journey towards Spiritual Growth and Peace
In our spiritual journeys, certain aspects are easier to relinquish control to God, while others pose a challenge. Time and again, I’ve discovered that I’m often more gracious with acquaintances and strangers than I am with those closest to me — particularly my children and spouse.
Could it be that our awareness of our loved ones’ imperfections tempts us to cast aside tact and subtlety? Like Peter, who grew tired of constantly offering grace, we may find ourselves silently echoing Peter’s question: “How many times must I forgive my brother? Seven times?” (Matthew 18:21). This captivating inquiry pushes us to explore the true extent of our empathy and patience.
As you and I grapple with ongoing challenges and growing frustrations, I sense the Holy Spirit softly whispering, “Surrender control to me.” He reassures us with the comforting words of Isaiah 44:2, saying, “I will help you.” Rather than leaning on your finite human capacities — anger, tantrums, self-pity, manipulation, complaints, and harsh words — be inspired to release your grip and welcome divine guidance to navigate life’s trials.
To continuously live in peace, you and I must humbly accept God’s word in every challenging aspect of life. Through diligent feeding on God’s word in those specified areas, we can gradually evolve into people who embody the tranquility and serenity of Jesus Christ.
A genuine connection like the one I enjoyed with my very closest friend is what God wants with you. Allow Him into all the rooms in your life — including the untidy ones — He’ll ease you of all those perfectionist pressures, and your growth will be boundless.
Our spiritual growth becomes evident when we no longer feel irritated by the same issues that once bothered us. Often, God may not alter our difficult circumstances; instead, He transforms our attitude toward these challenges. Through Him (John 16:33), we can experience perfect peace — not because our lives are flawless, but because He is the embodiment of peace. He is our Prince of Peace.
Our lives become a masterpiece when we learn to master peace.
Surrendering Control and Finding Inner Peace.