I have been putting off writing about self-control for several days. This is one of the most difficult areas for me, and I was trying to better understand the concept. Proverbs 25:28 says “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” This would suggest that living a life without self-control leaves one defenseless. Nehemiah considered the wall-less city of Jerusalem to be a disgrace so he set about to return and rebuild the walls. Nehemiah 1:3 So living without self-control leaves one defenseless and disgraced. This is definitely not where I want to be… so what now?
In the New Testament we are told to have self-control, and that it is a fruit of the Spirit. 2 Peter 1: 5-9 describes reasons for living a life that shows self-control and tells us that knowledge of God leads to self-control and that self-control leads to perseverance in our faith. 2 Timothy 3:2-3 tells us that actions associated with the godless include lovers of self, boastful, ungrateful, proud… and without self-control. Titus puts both of these ideas together in Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”
So what does one do to achieve self-control? Scripture tells us that growing in the knowledge of God helps us be grounded in our faith and better able to stand in this world, thus showing self-control. Saying “No” to worldly pursuits and striving to live for Jesus is the pathway towards self-control. Peter adds one more thing to this in 1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” Being self-controlled allows us to clear our minds and focus on God when we pray.
Is self-control something we can actually attain? Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23 I have to believe that the closer I walk with God the more self-control I will be able to exercise in my life. Being with Jesus, being filled by His Spirit, give me the power to live for Him. That is why He wants us to be self-controlled. It shows His power within us as it is not something we can do on our own. Will you strive to know Him more, pray and walk with Him? It is a life long journey with Jesus filled with adventure and challenge. If it were easy we would not want to do it and without Jesus it would not be possible.
Learning to preserve with Jesus,