If we were to be honest, most of us have a negative connotation of the word “self-control.” We live in a society that tells us that it is good to give in to your desires. We don’t like to say “no” to ourselves, and we definitely don’t like it when someone else tells us “no.” We are rebellious at heart and tend to resist boundaries.
Keeping that in mind, we still find the final attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Oddly enough, self-control is an oxymoron. See, self-control has nothing to do with self. It has everything to do with God. Self-control is one of the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit, thus it comes from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in you when you submit your life to Christ and give Him authority. So if the Holy Spirit grants us self-control, we can never say “I didn’t have enough self-control.” If it comes from God, then there is plenty of it! Rather than beating yourself up over past mistakes of giving into temptation, knowing that you have self-control in abundance should encourage you!
In the past, you may have called on your own will power or strength to try to resist temptation. But now, knowing the truth about self-control, you can ask God to grant you more than enough self-control to handle your situation.
Listen to these words from Paul found in I Corinthians 10:13.
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Take time to read that again.
God is faithful! He will supply you with MORE THAN ENOUGH self-control for any situation you face. He will provide a way out! He gives you everything you need to resist. But you still must make the choice to take the way out He provides.
It’s like the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Self-control is God-given in abundance, yet we still have the choice to tap into the strength God gives and make the right choice.
We all need to demonstrate self-control at all times of the year. But I feel like at the holidays when we are a little more frazzled than usual and more calories are lurking around every corner, it is even more important to understand the truth about self-control.
What is one area where your family, friends or co-workers would say you need to demonstrate self-control?
What is one area you feel defeated in relation to self-control?
How does knowing the truth about self-control change your perspective?
How can you practically draw upon the God-given self-control that is available to you?
Describe one situation where demonstrating self-control would change the outcome.
Talk to God about the areas you need to demonstrate self-control. Thank Him for supplying more than you need. Discuss with Him your willingness to engage the self-control He provides.