ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eric's Sunday Sermon; Oh The Need To Control

Updated on July 3, 2016

Sometimes I try

to control the weather.
to control the weather. | Source

Why try to control?

There is this notion that “if everyone acted the way they should life would be great” Of course the “should” in that statement really means “the way I think it should be done”. This concept is probably the leading cause of unhappiness. If we lead our lives in a way that we demand that others act the way we think they should act we are bound for frustration, heartache, failure and lack of love. This is clearly because we just cannot control others, and trying to leads to a predetermined failure. Our self-inflicted goal just can never be accomplished. When delving into this subject we are first drawn to the issue of how we get rid of this negative compulsion. Just how do we reach the serene ability to accept things as they are, except for our own conduct?

We can look at four scenarios and gain insight. The micromanaging boss at work. The aggravating incompetent checkout clerk at a store. The way other’s drive. And how others believe. Oh my how those four scenarios have a way of dictating our happiness. And of course you have your own. The words just flow out “I hate….” Aren’t the two bathroom problems a constant in a marriage? Toilet seats up or down and how to squeeze out toothpaste. And it is truly amazing how easy it is to both adjust the toilet seat the way you want it and the tube of toothpaste the way you think it should be. Both those together take about 9 seconds. Amazing how we make aggravation out of the tiniest things. Just yesterday my wife and I went out for some shopping. I was busy directing traffic while she was instructing store clerks on how to do their job. Good thing we had each other to get it out of our systems and enjoy the time together.

It would be fair to assume that most people are accepting most of the time and critical and unaccepting part of the time. Although there are those that are accepting all the time and those that are controlling all the time. We look around and find that we really do not control people. Quite normally our attempts at control are doomed to failure. So why do it? If we are dead set on controlling others we find ourselves upset and without influence. Again, so why do it? “If everyone would just do it my way everything would be just fine”. How could that even be possible with so many of us out there? Wow the world would be in complete conflict and anger and ultimately chaos.

The frustration that comes from trying to control others

can lead to enough stress to kill you.
can lead to enough stress to kill you. | Source

Who is in control?

Is there hope for us?

So being that we cannot change everybody in the world, the best we can do is to change ourselves and maybe lead by example. There is that beautiful concept of attraction rather than promotion. The question should always be, “what can I do to improve the situation?” and not, “how can I fix the situation to be how I want it?” Of course we are bound to put our opinion on what an improvement is but at least we are starting out with noble intentions.

The micromanaging boss at work. Really? Leadership from the bottom up is a losing proposition. Have you ever seen a situation where there were more bosses or supervisors than workers? Of course we have a tendency to think we know what is best. But trying to control our boss is not the way to accomplish anything. An interesting point here is that the boss that tries to control the worker fails also. Leadership is best accomplished by example. Even in a military, we have found that blind obedience is less effective than teaching how to be a good soldier. A worker is better served by trying to be the best worker he can be, rather than teaching the boss to be a better boss.

The aggravating incompetent checkout clerk at a store. One headline among many addressing this issue of overcharging reads; “Supermarket Scanner Errors Can Cost Consumers Up to $2.5 Billion Each Year”. All studies reveal errors that are constant and just vary on just how bad the situation is. So this makes us realize that sometimes in a particular transaction controlling the clerk is not such a bad idea. But interesting here is that while it may be effective, 99% percent of the time the consumer gets upset rather than just correcting the problem. Even righteous controlling can have negative effects on us.

The way other’s drive. “Dad, you do know that both your windows and their windows are rolled up and we are going 60 miles per hour don’t you?” “So why are you yelling at them?” I have paid close attention to this. I have found that getting upset and actually verbalizing it makes me more agitated than breathing deeply and moving on. Yet I still find myself doing it. Perhaps that is the definition of insanity.

And how others believe. This is a very strange one indeed. There is a mandate of sorts in the Judeo-Christian perspective to convert people in order to save them and as a duty to God. Here we find a scenario not unlike that of the micromanaging boss. Some folks actually believe that the above mandate is to be carried out through the technique of instilling fear and Bible thumping. Perhaps another definition of insanity. Clearly the only proper technique of inspiring conversion is through example and attraction. We are not to control belief and thought but rather lead others through our own spiritual success in life. If we appear unhappy and with a bound for failure need to control then the uninitiated will recoil from us like a hand from flame.

Children. If we exercise control over a child rather than teach the child control, in the end we fail the child. As youngest of six children I was basically taught to be quiet and fall in line. This did not serve me well when it was my turn to make decisions. In fact for many years I flailed and failed in the decision making arena. (of course now I can look back and accept that all those failures got me to the happily fulfilled life I have today) But I have been cautious with my own children not to continue that cycle. The one thing we can control is ourselves. I truly believe we can teach a child to control themselves and not others. And in doing so we can remove one of the stumbling blocks on the road to happiness.

Sometimes control can be hidden in what looks like love.

There are many aspects of control

How about "please control me"?
How about "please control me"? | Source

How about you?

Do you like to control people?

See results

Maybe we should just grab a bag of popcorn and sit back and enjoy the show.

Oh my, what rambling in the sermon. Did you know that most preacher’s sermons are designed to control what you think and believe and therefor how you act? The best the preacher and congregation can hope for is that the preacher is right. Here in Eric’s Sunday Sermon the best that we can hope for is that we asked the right questions for the reader to answer for themselves. Learning by ourselves is good. Learning with others is synergistic and fantastic. All relationships are more fulfilling when control is left behind and cooperation toward a common goal is practiced.

There is great reward to be found in accepting people for what they are. If the more creative person controls the more linear thinking person then discipline is lost. If the linear thinker controls the creative person, creativity is lost. If you have never experienced the absolute joy in seeing someone you have mentored come up with new ideas on their own you are truly missing out. One of my greatest joys in life has been in riding a horse where you guide it up to speed and then just loosen the reigns and let the horse run free as you are along for the ride. Practice that with people and I promise you joy is on its way to your heart. Maybe we should give some thought letting God be the one in control.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 11 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I agree with every word here Eric. My wife is often hurt or disappointed by other people's actions and reactions. I try to tell her not to expect others to act the way you would and you won't be disappointed. Honestly, I don't hold unreal expectations of anyone. I may get upset by certain things people have done but really it is their problem, not mine. When I drive places I sometimes like to take a different route for a change...my wife invariably asks, "Why are you going that way...?" I usually just say, "Because I felt like it," or "just for a change." If she is driving, I don't care which way she goes...she's driving it's her choice.

      Anyway, another good sermon. We should not try to control others.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 11 months ago from United States

      Well said my friend. I suppose the best we may each do is to suggest, influence by our own actions and inspire others, rather than try to force changes in behavior or what they may say. Thanks for sharing. whonu

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 11 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Fourth of July weekend, dear Eric.

      Boy, when I was younger, I certainly had an issue with control, being if I didn't agree with how people were acting, or them just being mean to others, I wanted to try to control them in an attempt to change their behavior ...of course, to no avail.

      I realize now, the best example to give is to live our lives in such a manner that may possibly inspire others. How we interact with others is so important and telling for sure. Yes, let us be mindful then.

      Today, when driving or riding along with my husband, well, it's still a test on both of our part LOL.

      I see I am way behind here in reading your wonderful hubs!

      Peace and blessings always

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 11 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Eric, you went from preachin' to meddlin' when you talked about trying to control your boss. Yes, I've been guilty of that one, but I think we have it resolved. I admitted I wasn't the boss's boss. Good sermon.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 11 months ago from london

      Hard for most of us. Part of the journey, perhaps. I think I control, perhaps. Maybe there are degrees of this... will make me feel better. (smile)

      Another brilliant and open for discussion type Hub, with much reflection needed. Do you think some like being controlled? Food for thought. Well done, my Friend!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Self-control is our primary control concern. To control someone else might mean dehumanizing them. I agree with you that we can attempt to "lead others" giving them the choice to follow or not to follow.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 11 months ago from San Diego California

      Brilliant, beautiful thoughts. Self-inflicted goals? Genius. Had I been exposed to sermons like this rather than fire insurance sales pitches maybe I would be on the straight and narrow. Happy 4th!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 11 months ago from sunny Florida

      For sure...grab the corn and enjoy the ride or the show or whatever. Trying to control outcomes was a huge huge stumbling block for me for many years. But something woke me up one day. And I realized how I had been chasing my tail for so many years trying to control. That's not to say that I still do not slip into that zone from time to time but the occurrences are far less often that previously.

      Such a powerful lesson here, Eric.

      I am always refreshed when I come to read here.

      Angels are once again on the way to you ps

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 11 months ago from Washington State, USA

      How many times do I find myself saying (in my mind, if not out loud) "Why can't people just do their jobs?" And jokingly, my husband and I often comment "If only they had asked us first--we know everything!"

      But it's not really a joke. All of think that we know best, don't we? Such a huge part of human nature. But, have you also noticed that when things don't go as they should, when we mess up, or (more correctly) when we get CAUGHT messing up, it's someone else's fault?

      The way others drive--this one made me laugh out loud. I am CERTAINLY guilty of this one. My half-sister says it is genetic because my dad's brother (her step uncle) did the exact same thing. But I don't road-rage. I'd like to think that my unheard admonishments are a stress reliever. (And for the record there are no hand gestures).

      Children--certainly one of the most difficult things one has to do as a parent is stand by and watch your child fail/struggle/get hurt. Our instinct is to rush in and "make it all better". SIGH!!!!!

      The comment about "how others believe" is a struggle for me. I belong to an Evangelical church, and we DO believe it our purpose to lead others to what we believe the Bible says is the path. But, are we "Bible thumpers?" I really don't think so. Two close friends have asked me about my church, saying they know I must go to church based on how I act/what I say. They have attended with me, and then were interested enough to take Bible instruction classes and ultimately join the church. Was it because I quoted Scripture and hurled insults to them when I saw them screwing up? Absolutely not. Our conversation were filled with acceptance and love. Isn't that what Jesus did?

      Your final heading says it so well--sit back, grab your bag of popcorn, and enjoy the show. What a great suggestion. ...I'm working on that.

      Thank you for another enjoyable and thought-provoking hub.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 11 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a great sermon. Learning to let go is not easy at first, but you learn it's the only way for happiness when raising a child, in the workplace, or marriage. Happy 4th ..

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 11 months ago from southern USA

      Blessings to you this lovely Sunday, Dear Eric,

      I left a comment earlier but it did not take, obviously ...

      Really wonderful sermon here on trying to control situations, others and so on ...which is always to no avail. It is hard when it comes to our children and seeing them make poor choices in life and other situations that could harm them, but trusting in the good Lord God, who is the real One in control, to watch over them, then knowing they are in good hands brings peace and happiness. When I let go and cast it all to God, I know I can rest assured He is in control, and I am glad I am not.

      Peace and love to you and yours

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 11 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Great article. I think it all boils down to love. Loving other people and ourselves.

      Most misery stems from unmet, unrealistic expectations. If we remember that we can only control ourselves, and then do that, we would all be much happier.

      Also, smile more.

      Namaste

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John, my wife and I drive very differently. Just yesterday we went on a long drive with horrendous traffic and she drove mostly. It is a good check up to see how mentally healthy I am. I passed in the acceptance area, but I must admit I did not get 100%.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A big old apology to my friends who have visited. I rely on our email system to know when I get comments. And alas it is not working on this sermon. That combined with a wonderful July 4th weekend and I missed the comments which mean so much to me. So I will visit with all of you today. Thank you for your support and patience.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu, I really appreciate what you say. I am blessed with a six year old. That toughest of all parenting skill combinations are good direction and education balanced with letting go and letting him learn by experience. In this I seek progress rather than perfection.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Is it still Sunday? Darn it, I'm late again!!!!

      I'm at my best when I'm just taking care of my side of the fence. When I think I'm the director in this play of life, then I'm in deep doo doo!

      Happy 4th, buddy!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Faith, Thank you for coming by. It is always a treat to have you visit and let me know. One of the cool things about leading by example is that you get to see the other person blossom -- not just do it. That wonderful feeling of seeing "how to" and then putting it in to practice in your way is so invigorating. I often think the best faith is found that way.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chris my poor wife hasn't even made inroads into that area yet. She is constantly "upset" about her boss doing it wrong. She is great at her job, and her bosses enable her by actually listening and making changes ;-) It brings up that funny concept of controlling how someone controls you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, Thanks so much you bring up a great point. Personally I love volunteering at my son's school and church. All I have to do is show up and do as I am told, it is relaxing. But I got drafted into being a Chairman of a board where I have to control the proceedings -- not so fun but rewarding.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, great to here from you. I love your comment. What feels best to me is saying "this is how I would do it, try to do better". Empowering is not the same as controlling, yet it may actually be a control factor toward getting someone to strive for personal best.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, I read your comment three times, I laughed, thought about it and agreed. "Fire insurance" indeed. The fun part of that one -- is the controlling God part. Many believe that if they follow a formula then they can control God's conduct. "God, I did this so you must do that". Strange concepts out there.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Patricia I like your perspective. I have been a boss for a good portion of my adult life, and I coached and taught and preached. Once the need to control is gone, it takes some time to lose the habit. Seems to me that between 30 and 50 was the hardest time to let go and let live.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, this sermon was so cool to write. Wow I had to self examine. Writing it down was cathartic. Now I find myself doing better at catching myself backslide into control. Perhaps the best I can hope for is progress. I hope these sermons give food for thought not what to think.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, isn't it amazing. It is like a 1+1 = 2. Let go and be happier. Try for tight control and be unhappy -- I reckon we still have to choose. And sometimes I choose wrong. Thanks for enjoying what I write.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well hello again Faith, your comment did come up later. My hubs are having a bit of a problem these days. I am not getting my email notices and comments can take hours to post. Oh well we still love HP for our friends here.

      That child rearing conundrum is a tough one. My mom was a control freak -- but God set it up to where us kids were unsupervised a whole lot. Maybe best of two worlds.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Deborah, I zipped over and followed you after reading your comment. Welcome to my humble hubs.

      You know it is funny for me as with most my sermons, they could be very short. I could have just written; "If you are trying to control people please do it in love for them and yourself". Love is truly the best ingredient in the recipe for happiness, for us and for others.

      Namaste

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill you are a special person. You give us good direction in writing all the time, yet you do not control how we take it. What a wonderful gift you old teacher has to give us.

    • alison monroe profile image

      Alison Monroe 11 months ago

      Good preaching, Eric! Thank you for writing this! The older I get, the more I realize that other people aren't necessarily going to start acting right, and that I have to get on with my life (such as it is) regardless.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Alison that is truly one of the lessons that most of us learn a little too late. Thank you for coming by.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 11 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      The last of St. Paul's Fruits of the Spirit that he wrote about to those unruly Galatians - and what a problem self-control can be! An interesting sermon and one that speaks to many hearts.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

      I agree with this sermon so much.. and it still gives me the calms of Sunday my friend.. and thank you so much for this topic...:)

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bronwen, I cannot speak for anyone else but for me, the more control I try to exert the further I seem to get from God. Life is so much easier when I let God be in control.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Frank, I figure you know that these sermons are written to myself in large measure. Somehow I am just egotistical enough to believe that others may have the same issues as me.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 11 months ago from Bangalore

      Eric, very well written sermon. Enjoyed reading it.

      Letting go is so important to be relevant in long term for happiness and healthy living, to hold on to anything that is not uplifting is a waste of energy. When we do that we cannot be in synchronization with the nature of things. So every aspect of life has to taken as it comes keeping in mind that the challenges that are bound to come, will anyway come.

      Pl do read my poem 'let it go'

      https://hubpages.com/literature/let-it-go-ego

      - hari

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 11 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautifully written and you know exactly how to write a sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Hari, that is a wonderful addition to this hub. I very much liked your poem - thank you for the link. It is nice to remember that control in a certain sense is like love. The more you give it away the more you get.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Devika, I am having real problems with my notifications of comments to my hubs -- so sorry for the delay here. I will be over to visit you later today.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 11 months ago

      If you KNEW how "to write a sermon," you would KNOW, it's not what man "thinks" SHOULD be, but would give Scripture of what GOD SAID in HIS WORD! II Peter 1:3 "According to his divine power HATH GIVEN UNTO US "ALL THINGS" PERTAINING TO "LIFE" AND "GODLINESS," through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue!" Then why do WE need to have an opinion or "think" what "should be" when HE'S SAID "EVERYTHING" PERTAINING TO "LIFE" AND "GODLINESS" IS IN HIS WORD?

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Norine if I had a picture of a person attempting to control others it would be yours. Could you send me one so I could add it to this hub/sermon?

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I had a good chuckle at some of these, but then again if I wasn't laughing I'd be crying as some of them I can just see myself in.

      The most common for me is probably the driving as at least three or four times I see people do the strangest of things on the roads.

      I often get passengers saying things like "Look at that idiot" and much more colorful that I honestly have to reply "I see that every day" to.

      The truth is I can't change the way people drive on the roads, all I can do is make sure I drive safely and try to anticipate what they're going to do!

      My old driving instructor gave me some good advice many years ago. "Treat everyone on the road with respect, but drive as if they're an idiot!"

      Not what you'd want to hear on a hub like this, but the point's the same, you can't change the way others are, but you can change the way you react to them!

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Lawrence - so common that it is laughable. I really feel sorry for folks who take it too far or carry it around for too long. That is great advice, and not just for driving.

    Click to Rate This Article