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Controlling personalities – Ministry

by on June 27, 2013



“Our greatest problem is not that we have been abused or deprived; our greatest enemy is self-obsession.” –Larry Crabb


Ministering to controlling persons is a serious challenge. It is important to determine the cause of their dysfunction. Sometimes they are simply ignored and not appreciated and not affirmed. They then may respond with demands for recognition. Recognizing their gifts and talents and placing them in useful tasks can quickly remedy that type of injury or neglect. 

On the other hand, if the person has developed a demanding personality that just will not go away, they must be dealt with in a different manner. That self-obsession will destroy them and others. 

Following are more considerations on how to minister to hurting persons with controlling personalities. 


Abuse, neglect or other emotional injury

Early doting by parent(s) or other important person(s)

Parents living vicariously through the child

Lack of secure attachment cycles early in life

Never made real and secure attachments with others in later life

Child learned to use others to make him/herself feel good

Development of inflated sense of importance

Discovery of the effectiveness of bullying and manipulation 


General info

In society these people can become bullies

In business they can become dominant partners

In religion they become leaders of followers who lack discernment

Typically effective in sales

Can become politicians

Often rise in an organization because of persistence and talent

Can create entire organizations based on the power of their person

Behaviors are typically life-long

Behavior is typically compulsive


Treatment – how to help these people

Affects men and women – most are men

Recognize the sadness of their life

Realize how much they are hurting

They need “bold love” and “tough love”

They need to be confronted

They need safe, strong persons to ask them questions and give them direction.

Strong persons must confront them kindly and firmly

Counseling typically does not help very much

They can easily con most counselors and therapists

Keep a record of their behaviors

Confront them with those behaviors

Hold them accountable

They are convinced they are right and all other people are wrong

They have little incentive to change or improve

These people are dangerous to self, spouse, children, and all other persons

Their conduct must be arrested in early childhood development –

Before the behaviors become entrenched and rewarded

Or they are doomed to a life of sadness for self and others



Matthew 7:6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs;

Nor cast your pearls before swine,

Lest they trample them under their feet,

And turn and tear you in pieces.


Proverbs 29:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And

He who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.


Isaiah 26:10 Let grace be shown to the wicked,

Yet he will not learn righteousness;

In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly,

And will not behold the majesty of the LORD.


II Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15 But we command you, brethren,

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you

Withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and

Not according to the tradition which he received from us. And

If anyone does not obey our word in this epistle,

Note that person and

Do not keep company with him,

That he may be ashamed.

Yet do not count him as an enemy, but

Admonish him as a brother.


People fear prophets because they tell the truth.

Prophets are not to fear – because they will help you

People fear controllers because they are bullies

Bullies are to fear – because they will hurt you


God loves all people – including the controllers. He also loves the people whom the controllers control. That is why Jesus told Peter, “When you are converted, strengthen your brethren.”

Controllers have so much power

When they control that power they cause harm

When God controls that power they build the Kingdom of God 


Controllers need love – Desperately!

If/when they find love – their lives will change –

If they open their heart to the love.

Every heart has two locks

One on the outside that others can open.

One on the inside that only the individual can open

That takes the power of God 


Bible examples


Saul – the king of Israel

Was changed into another person

Was blessed by the Spirit of God

Was angered by the singing of the women –

“Saul has slain his thousands, David has slain his ten thousands!”

Tried to kill David

Tried to kill Jonathan

Forced himself to offer sacrifice

Did what he knew was wrong                  



God took the kingdom from him

God sent a prophet, Samuel, to speak clear judgment to him



Obsessed about a vineyard that was not his

Enabled by his wife, Jezebel

Acted in childish ways

Murdered Naboth so he could have his vineyard



Wickedness and death in Israel



For Peter to become useful, he had to come to the end of himself

Very few controlling people ever do that

They never meet the real Jesus –

The Jesus whose look will pierce their very heart

Peter had to see Jesus looking at him

Peter had to confess his sin

Peter had to be confronted to the face by Paul

Peter had to learn to live by the power of the Holy Spirit

Peter is the example of a controller who became a powerful Kingdom builder


Peter finally remembered the counsel of Jesus

“Do you love me?”

Jesus asked Peter this question three times

Peter was grieved

But, finally, Peter grasped love. Love. LOVE!

Peter was overtaken by love. Real love

Love changed his life

Love and truth change lives 


Peter became the apostle of power

Peter preached on the day of Pentecost

Peter became a pillar in the Church

Peter was ready and willing to suffer for Jesus


Jesus’ words 

Matthew 15:7-20

 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And

Honor Me with their lips, But

Their heart is far from Me. And

In vain they worship Me,

Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.


When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them,

Hear and understand:

Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but

What comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.


Then His disciples came and said to Him,

Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?


But He answered and said,

Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.

Let them alone.

They are blind leaders of the blind. And

If the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.


Then Peter answered and said to Him, Explain this parable to us. So Jesus said,

Are you also still without understanding?

Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.

These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.


Jesus had harsh words for these controlling people –

Read His words again


Hear the harshness

Feel the harshness


Hear the truth

Feel the truth


Hear the love

Feel the love


The bold, tough love that brings truth to life

That is the Word of God

The Word that brings life

Life that will heal the controllers

IF they will avail themselves

IF they will open their heart to love

Jesus will meet them there

And they will be healed


It changed Apostle Peter

It can change you too

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