Obsessed with having everything go their way -- positive they are always right, their methods, plans and opinions eclipsing everyone else's, the control freak steam-rolls his or her way through life, bent on directing his or her own destiny -- and that of others.

Everyone has been "touched" by them; perhaps you find yourself being one. Humble and submissive as your temperament may be, you have to admit, having your own way seems comfortable -- at least for the moment. I would love to think I had no problem with this issue, but the fact that I would rather drive 14 hours than to fly three hours, might be a clue that I struggle with this monster. When I'm driving, I am in control -- when I'm on an airplane, I'm 30,000 feet above the earth, with my life totally in the hands of two men, dressed in pilot's uniforms, sitting in a cockpit, totally obscured from me. I hate that feeling!

Control freaks are generally masters at manipulation -- they know how to tweak the situation to their advantage. They trust virtually no one to do the job right but themselves -- they are largely driven by ego, a self-serving attitude and if the truth be known, probably fear. Also, a controlling person will find it impossible to affirm the work of others, unless they are using flattery for the purpose of bolstering their own agenda. Most tragic of all, the control freak also has a most difficult time submitting to God's control over their lives.

Probably one of the most familiar control freaks in the Bible is found in the little book of 3 John. Diotrephes was his name. He apparently was one of the "church fathers." Verse 9 says he "loved to have the preeminence." When the disciples came to his church to visit and to teach biblical principles, Diotrephes went berserk! He spoke malicious words against them, would not receive them, and furthermore, "sent them packing."

What was wrong with Diotrephes? Perhaps he hated the thought of being upstaged; he loved to be the preeminent one in the church. If someone else had any influence at all, it was a threat to his power -- his prestige, his ability to control.

Corporations, civic organizations, fast food and mercantile establishments, and churches are discovering that promoting a team spirit enhances the organization and boosts morale. Everyone has an opportunity to buy into the "ownership" -- to excel and shine. Any top executive will do himself- or herself proud when they cease and desist from tyrannical control.

God, the Father, is the only One Who has an absolute right to control all the affairs of the world because only He is worthy and able. We would all do ourselves a big favor to relinquish all control to Him.

— Paul Gauntt currently serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Palmer.