It’s hard to relax when our personal satisfaction hinges on what someone else does or doesn’t do–or does or doesn’t believe. Doesn’t he know it could work better if he just listened to my plan? Doesn’t she get it?
If you’re a little muddled about how over-helping, perfectionism and playing God are linked, you’re not alone. I’m often puzzled, too. Even experts get confused trying to sort all this out. On occasion, God splashes light into my fogginess through humorous life predicaments. Because all the universe is under God’s domain, I’ve found He can use anything to teach, nurture and grow me. (I love how He does that!) Sometimes new insight comes from surprising venues.
Like that aha! moment I had while watching the movie Driving Miss Daisy a few years ago. The wealthy Miss Daisy and her longtime chauffeur have both aged considerably. As they discuss their situations, Miss Daisy accuses the chauffeur of continuing to drive even though his eyesight is failing. “How do you know how I can see, ‘lessen you look out my eyes?” is his response.
My immediate internal reaction: Whoa! Lord, forgive me for thinking I’m powerful enough to know another’s needs. I realize I will never see their life from their view. I want to learn to treat others with respect. Please help me.
The apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, cautions us about assuming we know another human being’s thoughts and feelings: “No one can really know what anyone else is thinking, or what he is really like, except that person himself” (1 Cor. 2:11, TLB).
I’m continuing to discover the relief-filled truth that I can progressively release my need/urge to do and make it all just right for the people in my life. First step: intentionally trust God for what is not mine to control or direct. Then I can begin to enjoy living in the freedom and grace He patiently waits to give me–and others.
Just wondering: Have you ever experienced what it feels like when someone insists they know what you’re thinking, what you need and how you should resolve your dilemma?
4/6/2013 02:39:32 am
I would like to remember that I abdicated the throne, but I seem to like the role of trying to control other’s lives. But it is so exhausting!
4/6/2013 02:40:09 am
Hi Lynne! It’s a step by step process to letting go and finding more energy! We’re both on a journey here. And guess what?! We’re both making progress. Congrats to us!
4/6/2013 02:41:01 am
In response to this blog post, I just got the following message from Annie Wolf. She said I could share it.
4/6/2013 02:51:00 am
ANNIE, Thanks for your wise thoughts and insight. Asking permission is a key, I think. Not making assumptions is another. Really listening. Praying authentically and honestly and not with the intent to teach/influence or manipulate, however, nicely we try to pray it. I so appreciate your wisdom.
7/31/2018 08:31:06 am
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Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.