It's not about who's in control, it's about where it is...
In kids, it’s like, “He made me do it.” Sadly, adults will buy into it as well: “I was drunk,” “You had to be there,” “Temptation took over”.
They need external controls on their behaviour as well—a fine, a consequence, a bitch cookie, a swift boot up the ass.
A person with an internal locus is aware of their place within cause and effect and can adjust their behaviour accordingly. They have internal motivation for how they behave.
It was an aha moment for me when I took this information and applied it to reading the Bible.
The first time I read the Bible from beginning to end, I noticed a progression in the locus of control in God’s relationship with us plebes.
In the Old Testament, there were laws for every detail of daily life. For good behaviour, God rewarded his chosen Old Testament people with land. For bad, they suffered illness, poverty and war.
God essentially sought to control moral behaviour with external consequences, rewards and punishments.
But slowly, as I made my way through the prophets, I could hear God’s tone change. Instead of being an authoritarian, He began to plead for love instead of keeping some phony image. He mourned the lack of connection, of heart, of relationship:
“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” [http://biblehub.com/nlt/hosea/6.htm]
By the New Testament, Jesus, instead of adding new laws, sums up the spirit of the law:
“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10:27]
And with the coming of the Holy Spirit, the locus of control becomes internal. Our focus becomes relational with God and each other. We are encouraged to not just stop acting like assholes, but to stop actually being assholes. We are encouraged to morality not because we will be rewarded or punished, but because of the Holy Spirit, the Word, the Law of God made alive through our lives.