I just finished eating my breakfast and reading my daily devotionals with my coffee and am once again reminded of the all-important self-control that we all should have in our lives. The Apostle Paul wrote this to the Galatians in Galatians 5:22:
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Whether you believe in God or not the wisdom in these words is apparent. Self-control has everything to do with that list of godly attributes. At the start of a New Year we all have this tendency to make goals and resolutions with changes in mind for our lives. This year the top 10 New Year’s resolutions and goals are (From staisticsbrain.com):
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Spend less save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit and healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
- Help others in their dreams
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with the family
What we need to understand in gaining self-control is it is never taught, caught, or given, but is a choice. It’s a choice to be made every day and is the key to working out all 10 of the above goals you may have as well as those godly attributes. Praying for self-control is great, but until you come to terms with your own choices that you make, self-control will be elusive. I have some thoughts as to what can help us keep self-control in an out of control world.
One of the first tough things we have to face is change. No one likes change, they hate it, that’s why they wait till the end of the year and say next year is going to be different so I will make these goals and resolutions. We allow excuse to demotivate the change we need to have in our lives to enrich it. Changing your choices is the most important thing you can do to have self-control.
The next idea is to have convictions. Convictions are another way to have self-control, drawing lines in the sand and say I will not cross over this line no matter what happens. It’s a positive way to be stubborn. I love people who have convictions because they are easy to respect. Reading God’s word every day is a sure fire way to get convictions in your life.
A final idea we should have for self-control is contentment. We should be content with who we are, where we are, and what we want to become. Contentment is not staying the same, but allowing that change to happen for the better. It’s being comfortable in your choices. Unhappiness is the opposite of contentment and is a big danger to not attaining self-control. Unhappiness motives us in the most negative ways, we are not happy with who we are, where we are, where we are going. We look at other people’s lives and wish we had them, when in reality those people still have the same issues we have. Unhappiness makes unhealthy choices. Contentment makes wise and awesome choices for the life you truly desire.
Having self-control in an out of control world is not easy and takes time to develop with the correct choices we make. We will succeed in goals and resolutions when we live by allowing change to take place, living by healthy convictions, and being content with those great choices we make. Don’t let the same old same old rule your life, or unhappiness to force unhealthy choices in the way you live. What are some new choices you need to make to get you to self-control?