Friday, July 18, 2008

Love or Control

A thought came to me the other day. What place does control of others have in the walk of love and service to God? Why do some pastors and preachers use manipulation from the pulpit to control their congregation. They try to control what the members do, who they fellowship with and who they talk to. They even try to control what they talk about. They constantly manipulate them into giving more and more. They use fear tactics to try and keep anyone from leaving to attend or even visit other churches. When their children become adults, they exercise a huge amount of control over their lives and even their grandchildren's lives. Many who attend these churches follow these wrong examples.

A need to control shows fear and a lack of faith. Fear of what will happen if the people are not controlled. Fear is the opposite of faith. Shouldn't they trust God for everything. What if some don't tithe? Isn't God capable of supplying their needs? Isn't He capable of speaking to His own sheep and leading them to give? What kind of faith is it to constantly beat them over the head with messages about giving more money? What if some leave? Can't God bring more people in? More fear. What if some talk and say something wrong? So. Isn't God big enough to handle that? Jesus didn't worry about what people said about Him. Maybe that is because He was full of faith and love and He was without fear and sin.

God is love. He is the total definition and example of love. If there were any place in love for control then God would control us to some degree. Yet He is just the opposite. He never forces anyone to do anything. He never pushes Himself on anyone.....He is a gentleman. He tenderly and gently invites us, courts us and calls us. He stands at the door to our hearts and knocks.... not busts down the door. He won't even open it. He waits on us to open the door to out hearts and invite Him in.

God willingly and lovingly created us with a free will. Knowing how the human race would use that free will, He formed a plan before the foundation of the world to send a sacrifice to redeem us from the situation that our free will got us into. Even though He loves us with jealous love, a love that no man can fathom or understand, He chose to create us with 100 per cent FREE WILL, and absolutely zero control over us. He then sent His only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for all who would accept what He did for them. He sent us His Word to teach us how to live our lives for Him. Yet after all this, He never makes or forces anyone to accept Jesus. The choice to follow Him is OURS.... not His.

1John 4:18 says, "perfect love casts out all fear".... I believe that perfect love casts out all control.
I choose faith and not fear. I choose to allow people to be who they are and not manipulate. I choose love and not control.


Anonymous said...

You have the best way of expressing things!

Deanna said...

ABSOLUTELY. If they really believed God to supply their needs, they wouldn't need to manipulate people. Control comes from fear, and both are DEVILISH.