The Daily Battle to Release Control with Joel Smallbone of for KING & COUNTRY

The Daily Battle to Release Control with Joel Smallbone of for KING & COUNTRY

Battling the desire to control with Joel Smallbone from for KING & COUNTRY

If God is in control, why do these types of things happen? That’s a question that Joel Smallbone from for KING & COUNTRY finds himself asking. Joel vulnerably opened up about his battle to release control in the big and the little everyday things.

What are you supposed to do when you aren’t able to control a situation? Why is it so hard to accept when things don’t go as planned? Why can’t I be present in the moment and in relationships when I feel the need to control everything around me? These are questions Joel opens up about in this touching Healing Out Loud video.



View this video with Joel Smallbone from for King & Country and other Healing Out Loud videos in this YouTube Playlist.


Well, hello. My name is Joel Smallbone and I am a recovering control freak. It’s nice to meet you.

So on a good day, that’ll look like wanting to think ahead and try and make everyone feel comfortable. That can serve you well in life as an artist and so on.

On a bad day or in a pandemic, it can look like really striving and struggling to manipulate or contort yourself, myself, or God or others to fit into my own small box of what I think life or reality should look like.

Behind the scenes of a For KING & COUNTRY concert

What it feels like when I feel a situation is out of control. I’ll give you a behind the curtain look at what happens on stage. There’s a lot of moving parts in our show.

There’s eight of us on stage. There is physical automation. There’s lighting. There’s so many things and there’s so many things that can go wrong.

And part of my task as a leader is to hold the line and create an environment where people feel really seen and known and loved in these venues.

But there’s another part of it that is very logistical for me.

Healing Out Loud Banner

And so when something professionally on stage does not meet an expectation for me, I have to really fight. And sometimes I don’t get it right. But staying in the moment and present to the people and not getting so tied up in the fact that my expectation wasn’t met or something didn’t go right, that you literally lose the whole beauty of the moment.

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When something professionally on stage does not meet an expectation for me, I have to really fight. […] Not getting so tied up in the fact that my expectation wasn’t met or something didn’t go right that you literally lose the whole beauty of the moment.

Joel Smallbone

Joel Smallbone on giving up control in everyday life

And I think in life, we can do a very similar thing when we’re trying to maintain control. You can be in a relationship and there’s someone right in front of you that you’re meant to love and be present for, but there was some expectation that wasn’t met either by them or someone else.

And when that expectation is not met, you immediately drop out of the moment.

You are not present.

You’re so focused on the thing that you can’t control and didn’t pan out the way you thought it would. You lose the very thing that’s the most important, and that is presence and being with other people and seeing them and knowing them and understanding them.

I was disappointed in God and Lost My Faith with Jason Gray

If God is in control, why do these things happen?

I have found myself at points questioning even God, because I buy into this idea of God being in control.

And what does that look like? If God is in control, why do these sorts of things happen? And so it’s been and will continue to be a lifelong journey of recognition that, life is not about hanging on and trying to control the situation.

Life is about recognizing and realizing that there are actually so many things that are completely out of our control. My freest moments have not been when I’ve got everyone and everything in just the spot I want them to be. There might be some weird satisfaction in that, but that’s not my freest moment. My freest moments are actually in recognizing that it’s not my responsibility, it’s not your responsibility, to maintain control. It’s your responsibility and my responsibility to be free and to be present with God and with ourselves and with others.

Life is about recognizing and realizing that there are actually so many things that are completely out of our control.

Joel Smallbone

So the question I pose to myself and I pose to you today is, is true freedom and joy and peace and satisfaction found when we try and hang on? Or is it actually found in release? Is it found in recognizing that you are not in control, but actually that’s a beautiful thing and that no one is designed to carry that load of responsibility other than our Creator.

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