1 Peter 5:2,3 NIV:  Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”


Luke B. Bennetch, in an article entitled “The Sin of the Controlling Spirit,” published online at Pilgrim, speaking of controlling individuals states, “They often resist when friends try to show them their control problem.”  

He goes on to say:  “They are not good at being team players.  They try to run committees or boards themselves.  They tend to keep others in the dark so they seem to know it all.  Often they only share information that will get their agenda accomplished.  They are touchy if asked questions.  In congregational life, they must be in the middle of everything going on.”

And:  “They abuse administrative powers.  They are known for threats and manipulation.  They can be generous at times, which sets the stage for us to value their generosity and fear the threat of losing that advantage.”

While the Bennetch article’s target is behavior in the local church, and while control does manifest itself significantly in that setting, the propensity to control is epidemic in most segments of human activity.  

Obviously, some control is necessary when applied uniformly, laws against harming crimes, stop signs or lights at a busy intersection, and a road closure for a bridge out.

Control becomes inappropriate when there is a lack of uniformity, when certain individuals and certain demographics are treated differently, oppressed.  Slavery.  Wars waged against a certain ethnicity, for the expansion of power.  Restrictions targeting a particular gender.  Misinformation and disinformation.  Alliances with the dishonorable for power and personal gain.

Philippians 2:1-3, NIV:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”


Bob Bullard