Self-control is the ability to hold back and respond to situations in the appropriate manner. It is the ability to have control over your emotions, words, attitudes, and actions and not react impulsively. Self-control is very important in life, especially for a Christian.
Without self-control, you will live a careless and impulsive life and you will end up making unwise decisions that have severe consequences.
Lack of self-control means you are being led by the flesh and you are submitting to carnal desires.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18.
A Christian without self-control becomes a stumbling block to people in the world. If you profess to be a Christian yet lack self-control, people will start wondering if that is how Christianity is and many will be put off because of you.
Let your life be a testimony that you are a true child of God by living a godly life and bearing good fruit.
Self-control is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. When you die to the flesh and submit yourself to God, with time you will start to bear much fruit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.
Patience and self-control go hand in hand. When a person becomes impatient about something, they also tend to lose control of themselves. It is important to learn how to be patient in life and wait patiently upon the Lord.
Getting impatient will drive you into taking matters into your own hands and you will end up getting out of God’s plan and God’s timing for you.
When things do not seem to be going how you would like, choose to step back and seek God on the way forward. Do not react in the flesh because if you do, you give the enemy a foothold into your life.
The Bible says that a person who lacks self-control is like a city whose walls are broken through, and better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Learn to set a guard over your mouth; not everything needs to be said.
If you are provoked, choose not to react emotionally and take time to think things over. Only speak what is edifying and what glorifies God. Many people have sinned against God because of their mouths. Too many people, including Christians, engage in a war of words and in the process bring dishonor to the name of the Lord. Choose to be set apart and honor God in every area of your life.
The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. Proverbs 18:6-7.
He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. Proverbs 13:3.
Pay close attention to your actions and your attitudes. It is important to have self-control in what you do and how you carry yourself. Do not live a carnal life yet at the same time claiming with your mouth that you are a Christian.
Be led by the Spirit of God and submit all you do unto the Lord.
There are things a Christian should not engage in. Stop following the crowd or what the majority are doing and choose to follow Jesus Christ. It is better to be seen as the odd one out but be right with God. Do not engage in carnal behaviors that people of the world are pursuing.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21.
Develop emotional control. Learning how to control your emotions will help you live a stable life that is not dependent on outside circumstances.
Many people tend to lose emotional control and have outbursts of anger; that is not behavior befitting a Christian.
Developing emotional control requires you to be self-aware and work on those things that trigger you. Many people have unhealed wounds dating back to childhood and because those areas are still raw, any slight provocation triggers an emotional outburst.
Ask God to search your heart and heal those wounds you have carried with you for years. Once healed, the things that used to trigger you lose their power. God is able to forgive, heal, and restore you; trust in Him and surrender your life to Him.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24.
If you are struggling with self-control, take that area of your life to the Lord. Pray for God to help you and empower you by His Spirit to live a self-controlled life. Transform your mind by feeding it with the Word of God. Stand on the Word of God and let it guide you in the way you live your life.
Meditate on good things and with time your words, actions, and attitudes will align with your new way of thinking.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8.
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