One of the greatest attributes needed to grow higher in your faith is to have self-control. Without self-control, there will be anarchy of self in which our flesh merely does what it wants to. To put off the flesh and grow spiritually, we must learn how to have self-control.
If you don’t control your emotions, they will control you. “A [shortsighted] fool always loses his temper and displays his anger, but a wise man [uses self-control and] holds it back” (Proverbs 29:11 AMP).
There is one aspect of self-control in that the Lord will give us all we need if we are willing. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control, and if we are good ground and allow the Lord to reign in our lives, then the Lord will allow this fruit of self-control to ripen in our lives.
Self-control is evidence the Holy Spirit is in you. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: …self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).
Long ago, the Lord spoke through Ezekiel, promising that He would put His Spirit within us that would cause us to walk in obedience. We are living in an age where the Holy Spirit has been poured out, but the question for you is, have you allowed the Holy Spirit to pour into your life?
God will change you just as soon as you’ll let Him. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27 CJB).
We can pray to the Lord to help us to have self-control, but the Lord will still require us to receive it. We must be willing with arms wide open, and we must be surrendered that we will let His life reign in us. The reason so many lack self-control is that they try to do it all themselves.
Let today be the day you let Christ rule in your life. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NLT).
We must realize that in our faith journey, we must make choices that are good and honorable. Every day there are a hundred choices, and we can either choose for our flesh or for our spirit, and the choice will forever matter. Controlling self means making good choices.
It’s either your way or God’s way, and your choice forever matters. “Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The first choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose life! Then you and your children will live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19 ERV).
When we speak, we need to control what it is we might say. You can never take back a wrongly spoken word, but you can always be thankful when you restrain from saying something wrong. Before you speak a word, consider if it is loving. Anything outside of love is outside of what you should say.
In your speaking, what you exclude is just as important as what you include. “The person who has knowledge says very little. And a person with understanding stays calm. Even a foolish person seems to be wise if he keeps quiet. He appears to have understanding if he doesn’t speak” (Proverbs 17:27-28 ICB).
When we respond to how others treat us, we can either act out in our flesh or control ourselves and be filled with the love of Christ. If you respond in a worldly way, then you will pay with worldly results. But if you control yourself, you have an opportunity to be a witness to the love of Christ.
There is more value in overlooking an offense than in responding to it. “Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment]” (Proverbs 19:11 AMP).
When we can keep control over our spending, then we will be blessed by the amount we are saving. Controlling yourself doesn’t mean you’re depriving yourself but rather giving yourself the better option. You will go further with self-control than living without any guard rails.
It would be better to die right than to live wrong. “He died for all so that all who live—having received eternal life from him—might live no longer for themselves, to please themselves, but to spend their lives pleasing Christ who died and rose again for them” (2 Corinthians 5:15 TLB).
When we can build up good relationships instead of allowing them to spiral out of control, we will be blessed in our hearts and in our minds with how we feel each day. It is never about controlling the other person but only controlling yourself in how you treat them.
Don’t focus on how others treat you but how you treat others. “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14 NLT).
Choose today to exercise your self-control. Start small but start going so that you can progress even further. Don’t let the failures of your past be the anchors for your future, but simply pray the Lord will help you. God can do more in you than you have let Him do up until now.
You can’t undo choices already made but only be determined to make better choices going forward. “But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15 NASB).
Blessings to you always,