Amazing how many people think they can just run rough-shod over the wills of other people. Someone once said about our church that their first surprise was that I don’t use fear and guilt to control the church, but their second surprise was that I was impossible to control with fear and guilt.
A lot of pastors can be controlled through fear and guilt – start to suggest “call yourself a pastor”, start to tell them you are leaving and taking your tithe money with you, start to bully them a little. I take a different approach – don’t like it, there is the door. I will not tolerate that kind of behaviour because it is all about controlling and stealing what is not yours.
We need to all realize whether we are pastors or laity that the fruit of the spirit is self-control, not other control. We have enough on our plate without trying to change others or control others. I am not the Facebook police, the food police or the fashion police, and nor are you. Just learn where your limits end.
Somebody recently tried to give me a piece of their mind – I wasn’t that interested to be honest so I walked away. They said to me “I have freedom of speech”, I said “True, but I also have freedom of listening, goodbye”. I don’t have to fill my mind with the rubbish in other people’s mouths, and nor do you!
Now, I normally teach on this from the point of view of the people who are being controlled and give tips on how to not be controlled by others, and that is vital teaching. The first time I taught on this in our church I got a standing ovation, which is not a normal event I can tell you! People were set free. (if you want to get a listen and need help in that area: http://www.treeoflifeguildford.com/building-fences.html)
But today I want to give 4 simple pieces of advice to stop you crossing over your limits and being a controlling person:
- Learn to live and let live. Learn that not everything is your business, and learn to – as the Bible teaches – mind your own business. Ask yourself before speaking – is this my business. If not, shut your big mouth!
- Learn to speak directly. A lot of indirect talk is there to control people.
- Learn to never build your ego in the responses and actions of others. Pastors manipulate their flock to turn up at events because their ego is in the numbers. I am not against numbers or counting, but I believe strongly that you should be resting in God’s love for you which is the same whether 2 people or 200 or 2million turn up.
- Learn to respect the word “no”. Listen for it, and when you hear it respond to it. No means no, not “persuade me”, “push me” or “press me”. Learn to respect the quietest “no” of others, don’t make them force their way.
It’s that simple. Of course, other people should not be stopping you doing what God said, so the constant obstacles and “no” people, respect their no, but then stop building with them and find others who want to build with you. Selah!