Today Carla sits down with Pastor and author Sharon Hodde Miller and talks all about her new book - The Cost of Control.

We are all guilty of trying to control things that we are not meant to control.  That we can’t control. Discover how this might be showing up in your life, learn what it’s really costing you, and be encouraged with the hope we have in Jesus.

The Illusion of Control

The Illusion of Control has us seeking refuge in a lie. We imagine we have control where we have none at all - we do this because it does make us feel better for a brief period of time. If you think you are in control, studies show it can momentarily lower your anxiety & depression. Because it’s not reality, the illusion eventually shatters and leaves us with greater anxiety than before.

The Connection Between Control & Anxiety

Short-term belief in control can be a relief, but long term is problematic as it increases our anxiety. We get stuck in a cycle where we run to control to soothe our anxiety, but it eventually makes it worse.

Belief in our control over circumstances also separates us further from trusting in God, which separates us from His peace.

Shame as a Tool of Control

It’s not just about being in control, but feeling in control. Shame can be put into service to make the world feel more predictable.

Shame is a tool of control. We use it to control other people in behavior modification - parenting, the church, etc. Often, this results in codependency as the recipient of shame takes responsibility for the actions and behaviors of the person imposing shame.

A shame narrative takes the vulnerability of the unknown away and replaces it with an Illusion of Control, and an illusion of responsibility and control for the emotions and behaviors of others.

It does not work well in achieving what we really want as Christians, becoming authentic disciples of Jesus.

When you recognize the role of shame in your life, you have the choice between two hard things: releasing shame & control, or continuing to live in shame and perceived control.

The Connection Between Burnout & Control

We live in a world that tells us we DO have control. Control can make you look so sacrificial and so good, but busyness as a badge of honor is insidious, as it is a misplaced identity. If we stop and rest and exercise boundaries, then we risk losing all control.

We were not designed to live without rest. Sabbath is a command to remind us of the right order of things.

Anytime you try to control something that you are meant to trust God with, there is going to be a cost.

You may not see the fallout right away! Take a look at Genesis 3 and its implications for all humanity.

Carla and Sharon both have realized the impact of surrender and trusting God in their marriages and parenting and speak to the testimony of giving it all to God.

Agency vs. Control

God doesn’t give us control, but he does give us agency. Agency is the power to influence yourself and your circumstances. You honor your boundaries - you are not in charge of outcomes, but your behavior along the way. Look to the first two chapters of Genesis as a good example of agency.

God invites us to partner with Him in the circumstances of life. We are called to stewardship and self-control. Self-control in scripture is about discernment and doing what is wise in the eyes of the Lord - choosing the important instead of the urgent. Self control asks “What is the wise, Godly, and holy response?

Jesus is available to us in a Genesis 3 world. He offers restored stability and wholeness in the face of our uncontrollable world.

He didn’t call us to results, He called us to obedience.

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