When I was in my 30’s I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a high school girl’s class at our church on Wednesday nights. We covered many topics during those years, including drinking alcohol, drugs and pre-marital sex. Of course, our basis was first what scripture said and then what our laws stipulated. Most these girls were 15 to 17 years old, so for example drinking alcohol at this point was clearly prohibited by the law, but we still talked about all the scriptures in the bible related to this. I would talk about and remind the girls often, you must decide where your stand is or where your line is before you are ever in a situation. Another example in that would be in dating. We would talk about the fact that they needed to decide, before they ever went on a date, where their boundaries were. What they were ok with in regards to physical touch and what they were not ok with. Especially in dating you need to really make the decision before you are in the heat of the moment. This can also apply to so many other things. When I am doing a better job of watching what I eat, when I am invited to a party, I don’t leave to chance what food will be there. I will eat a healthy snack before and/or pack up my own snacks so that I am not derailed by my options when I get there. See self-control and self-discipline can go hand in hand. If I don’t discipline myself to plan ahead, in the moment I will make a bad choice and then beat myself up later for not having more self-control.
Over the last several weeks I have been talking about the fruits of the spirit. Today I wanted to talk about self-control. Self control: control or restraint of oneself or one’s actions, feelings, etc.
When we think of self-control we can be relating it to watching what we put in our body or mind, watching our words (what flies out of our mouths), married people not flirting/lusting after anyone you are not married to, restraint of reaction (over reaction or short tempered), using our money wisely, exercising when we would rather sleep in or watch TV!
We can often look back on poor choices for not being clear in our own minds including not knowing what our “why” is beforehand. Why do I not want to have more than one drink, why don’t I want to eat a large turtle sundae, why do I need to pay our bills and our tithes before I go on any other shopping sprees!
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age.
Everyone must choose one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Like a muscle, the more you exercise self-control on a consistent basis, the stronger you get.
The thing I found most interesting about “self”-control… is when I try to do things all on my own, I am setting my-”self” up for failure!
2 Peter 1:3-8 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We all struggle in different areas, but when you know you are going into an area you have EVER struggled in, make a plan, know your “why”, and above all else ask God for His help! “Self”-control is much more manageable when we have divine power guiding us!