More Self-Control

Everything in me didn’t want to face today. I pulled the covers over my eyes but I knew I had to get up. Maybe not as early as I should have, but I did pull back the covers and faced all that was before me.

My jaw clenched and I felt my hands form into fits. Yet I kept quite in the moment. The person before me insulted my character but I knew if I were to say anything in that moment I would say too much. So I chose against everything fighting against this choice to say nothing at all.

It had been a stressful day and all I wanted to do would be to do home and bury my emotions in a pint of ice cream. But I knew whst that would lead too. I would obsess about trying to earn itbor burn it off. So instead of hiding what I was feeling, I choose to work through it.

These and many more situations are evidence that God still works miracles today. We aren’t born with self-control in us. We are born reacting on inpluse instead of rationally thinking through our actions. Yet, God gives people the ability to control themselves. This is the final aspect of fruit of the Spirit and like love is the overall motivator for all, self-control is the discipline to put them into action.

Exercise self-control

What do you think of when you think of exercise? I love the mentality of olympic weightlifters. Olympic lifts are high still movements and are hard to execute. The key is to really nail form down before adding weight to the bar. Many will stay with just the bar or really light weight for quite some time so thag they can perfect the movement. Even the eleit don’t train to max out weekly. They practice the movement of the clean and jerk and the snatch. They’re trying to make a couple crazy movements come to them like second nature.

I think this is the mentality we should take with us in practicing self control. Get in there day in and day out working, and sometimes failing, to make something so against our nature become second nature. In 1 Peter 1:13 it says, “So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” We are to flex our self-control muscles as we fix our eyes on Christ who is the one that saves us.

Peter also comments on self-control in his second book in the New Testament. After speaking on the divine power and promises that God gives us to live a godly life, he says in 2 Peter 1:5-7, “in view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection with love for everyone.” Self-control is one of the building blocks we need to use to become christlike in our lives and relationships with others. It happens first and foremost by responding to what God, the Holy Spirit, gives us. Then we put it into practice in our daily lives.

If love is the motivation behind all the aspects fruit of the Spirit, self-control is the discipline to put them into place. This isn’t something that comes naturally to us. We need help. We need to put it into practice. Philippians 2:12-13 says, “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him.” Self-control is both us working and God working. Our efforts are futile without God, but God needs us to freely ask for help. The fruit manifests in our lives by the Holy Spirit and practice.

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