Christlife Posture: Loving Like Jesus

Topic: Letting Go of Controlling Behaviors

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions     (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)


  • The Winning Hand (Michael Belk)  How does this depiction of this card game speak to you about the illusion of control?

Video Clip

  • Baggage (Skit Guys) How does the baggage you carry around contribute to your tendency to want to control God or others? What kinds of things are we trying to control? Can you clearly identify some of your baggage?  What would you like to do with it?


  • You Hold it all Together (All Sons and Daughters) How can the truths in this song help you let go of controlling behaviors?  What lie that you currently operate under can you replace with a truth?


  • Let Go and Know God is in Control (Rick Warren) Which insights in this short blog stood out to you the most? Think of your answers to the 2 questions in the “Talk it Over” section at the end of the article.

  • The Art of Letting Go  (Jeanne Doyon) Answer the question the author poses--why do you hold on (to control)?  Look at the 3 scriptural examples she mentions.  Can you relate with any of the examples? Where do you find yourself holding on to control the most?

  • (Parenting) Mistress of the Universe: Learning to Let Go of Control (Karen Marchant) What can you relate to in this article? How might being controlling affect your relationship with your spouse or child? Which suggestion(s) do you want to put into practice?

Prayer Exercise

  • A Prayer for Letting Go (Jackie Trottmann)  Read through this prayer, then pray through it substituting your own words or rewriting it to focus on specific areas you struggle with wanting to control.

Reflection Options  

Journal  (reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • Which areas do you tend to want to take control in. How does that affect your relationships?  How does that affect your ability to care well for others?  How does it affect your relationship with God?

  • Look beneath your controlling behaviors and see if you can identify what fear, anxiety or past hurt drives you to want to control in that area.  Spend some time consciously trying to release those fears, anxieties or hurts into God’s care and ask for his healing.

  • Write about the reasons you have for not delegating to your spouse or children.  Look over your reasons.  How reasonable are they? If you see some that are not reasonable, how can you let them go?

Quote Interaction   (Agree, disagree or otherwise engage with the quote/quotes)

  • "Intense love does not measure . . . it just gives." Mother Teresa

  • “When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”  Donald Miller

  • “Heaven would tell you that it’s just a little rain. And it’s not the rain that kills you, it’s the pain of wanting to control the sun.”   Tessa Shaffer, from Heaven Has No Regrets

  • “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”  C.S. Lewis.

Reading & Reflection from the book, Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Read “Enabling Submission” (pp. 95-97). How do self protection and controlling relate? What do you need to learn to release in order to be more dependent on God and interdependent with people?

  • Use the “pacing questions” (p. 155). Answer them for yourself as well as pose them to the other person.

  • Mentor: Read “Pacing” (pp. 82,83). Reflect on how controlling behaviors conflict with the idea of pacing in a mentoring relationship.  Which of the “Telling” behaviors on the chart do you tend toward? How can you shift them to pacing?

Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  Look for insights about how or why to let go. Why can we give God control?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Proverbs 3:5

  • Jeremiah 29:11

  • Isaiah 26:3

  • Matthew 6:27

  • Matthew 11:28-30

  • John 14:27

  • Romans 8:28-29

  • Philippians 4:6,7

  • James 1:2-4

  • James 5:12