Where's Your Self-Control?

When I'm writing, scrapbooking, working on the computer or even cleaning the house, I tend to have something to snack on nearby. That's my little reward for accomplishing something.

What I've learned over the years, though, is that I have to ration out what I eat or I'll consume the entire package, bag or box. You'd never tell it by looking at me, but I truly love to eat. Only by exercising portion control can I outsmart my appetite and keep my body healthy and happy.

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls. Proverbs 25:28

Imagine your heart having a wall around it, a wall of self-control that protects us and shields us from temptation, laziness and gluttony. With dedicated cleaning and maintenance we can keep this wall standing tall and intensely guarded.

Without self-control, our emotions, desires and appetites take over and we feel like we are useless to stop them. We often say we were powerless against our hunger, so we ate too much. Or we just couldn't overcome our laziness today so we stayed on the couch. This is taking the power away from where it belongs and giving it to some "thing" or feeling that is meaningless.

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:27

How often have you heard yourself say: I can't...I just don't have the...That's just how I'm made...I guess I'm just that way. Excuses like these get in the way of living a victorious Christian life because we're not allowing God's power to rule every part of our lives.

With God's grace, I rule my body and mind - my body and mind do not rule me. Paul is a great example of this idea: he taught others to defeat these misconceptions about what we are and are not forced to do, so he lived to be a testimony of God's power in his body.

Making excuses for our lack of willpower is like telling the Lord that we don't trust in His power to strengthen us. In truth, it is Christ's example and teachings that show us just how to turn a lack of self-control into the beauty of self-denial.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23

To allow ourselves to be controlled by temptations, anger or fear means we are too busy with our own selves to be of use to God. Only when we take ourselves, our own minds and bodies, out of the equation can God truly use us in service for Him.

Self-denial and self-control lead us down a precious path with the Lord. There are areas in each of our lives that we have given up on simply because "that must be how I'm made." The reality is that God's power in our lives can help us be victorious over anything the world throws in our path. Praise His holy name!

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