“A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.” Proverbs 25:28 (Msg)
Self control brings with it a feeling of confidence and an inner sense of security. Self control and self discipline are key factors in any success in this life. Without self discipline and self control a person is “out of control.” Without self control, self discipline and commitment you are unlikely to achieve anything of lasting value. The Apostle Paul realized this when he wrote;
“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:25-26 (ESV)
Olympic athletes train for years in order to have a chance to win a brief moment of glory. But the race we are running is far more important then any earthly athletic event. What we do here on earth will affect our eternity. How do we gain self control? Let me suggest 4 steps to self-control.
1. Put the past behind you.
Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal.” Many of us are caught in the past and we live with a misconception. “Once a failure, always a failure.” This is NOT true. Failure in the past does not mean you’ll never be able to change. You can.
2. Talk back to your feelings.
Do you let your feelings manipulate you? God doesn’t want you to be controlled by your feelings. He wants you to master your moods. Talk back to them. Learn to challenge them. In Titus 2:11-12 we read, “We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now.” (Msg) God gives us the power to take back our destructive feelings and replace them with God-honoring ones.
3. Believe you can change.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (ESV) That’s a fact. If you are a Christian you can never say, “The temptation was too strong; I couldn’t help myself.” When your self-control is being tested, you need to fill your mind with the promises of God.
4. Depend on God’s power.
Any struggle you are facing will be easier to conquer with God’s help. In fact, you will never reach self-control without God’s help. The secret to self-control is Christ’s control. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:24
May God Bless