Is God a Micro-Manager?

I am not sure that I have anything conclusive to offer by way of an answer to the question I pose in the title of this post. Perhaps I can start out with a definition from Wikipedia:
The notion of micromanagement can be extended to any social context where one person takes a bully approach, in the level of control and influence over the members of a group. Often, this excessive obsession with the most minute of details causes a direct management failure in the ability to focus on the major details.
Interesting how the words obsession and bully are used. I have worked for micro-managers and can relate to the obsessive bullying aspect in this description. That said I think that the word bully may be a bit unfair in that a manager may sometimes need to be very detailed oriented in his approach.

Back to the divine question. Perhaps we can frame it best by asking if God's approach is more like Mozart, Bernstein or Heifetz? Is his approach more like the great composer Amadeus Mozart imaging the notes that others will play? Or is it more like the New York Philharmonic conductor Leonard Bernstein who directed the activities of virtuoso violinists like Jascha Heifetz? Or is it most like Heifetz who brought out the best of an inanimate object?

Perhaps it is a bit of each? Perhaps the Great Composer is a way to see the Father as one who has a beautiful plan for the universe. I think that we see glimpses of that plan in the bible. And maybe in Christ we see the head and conductor of a great body of diverse musicians who each have a different role in the orchestra. Yet possibly we understand God best as the Holy Spirit who quickens an inanimate object and brings beautiful music from it?

Back to the divine question. Is it fair to call God a micro-manager when the term relays such a pejorative connotation? I think that it depends on your view of the composer, conductor or violinist. If you have been exposed to negative images of these types then perhaps you would not want them to be involved at all in your life. But what if you have felt your life come alive at the touch of the virtuoso's hands? Or had your eyes opened to the beauty of your life? Or maybe felt the presence of a divine conductor in desperate times?

My thinking is that the answer to the question posed in the title is more about us than it is about God. I feel that we are reticent to call God a micro-manager if we have a difficult time with the way that our life has played out. When we experience difficulty and pain we do not want to attribute those things to God. Yet when things are going well.. when we are experiencing beautiful music.. we love to credit him for the score, the conducting and the instrument.

It is a matter of perspective. What is your perspective? How would you answer the question?


  1. I don't believe God is a micro-manager. If I thought that I would have an extremely difficult time with all the pain and tragedy in the world. I believe that God has an overall plan for his creation and does work things out for our good, but I also think that part of God's love is allowing us to reject him and others if we desire. He doesn't force us to love him.

  2. There are baseball managers who want to call every pitch, control who can steal bases when, dictating when you can swing away and when you can't. And then there are managers who share a vision, give people the tools, training and support they need, and let them play a game--but when they are at a critical point in the game, may still inject themselves, for example, by asking a left fielder to take two steps in.

    I know that meeting my wife, for example, was meant to be. And it only happened because God asked me to take two steps in.

  3. very good analogy. I love classical music. Perhaps we cannot fathom the ability of God to be either a micro or macro manager. And regardless of either way, we must know he does it out of love for his creation in his image. In the case of the bad, Dose the violinist destroy his instrument. I don't know, but if he did, I would have to think he had a good reason that is beyond my understanding

    1. My thinking is that few violinists smash their instruments Scott. Even so, they are prone to breaking a few strings and then having to replace them.

  4. I feel that we are reticent to call God a micro-manager if we have a difficult time with the way that our life has played out

    I understand that. I have been trying to be thankful in ALL things, even the past failures and pains. Think Rom 8:28. I do agree that it may be more about our perspective, too. I find free will to be terrifying myself.

    1. I agree Ma. The ability to choose a path that is against God is a bit terrifying.


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