Self Control

A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls.
Proverbs 25:28

Self-control is something that I used to think was so easy. Until I had to give up doing the stuff I loved doing, the stuff that made me happy but didn't make Jesus happy, and the stuff I was used to doing but that was drawing me back.
And I realized that me being being able to moderate and restrain myself wasn't easy.
pic

Take sexual urge for instance. After I became born again, I had to restrain myself not to give in to the urges I felt to have sex and other stuff.
And it was not easy at first mainly because I tried to do it on my own. As soon as I invited God into the equation however, it became a lot easier. 
I remember those early days of abstinence. Kai! I felt God was punishing me sef. Because it seemed impossible to abstain from Sex.
Annoyingly that was the time I encountered several tempting situations. And I realized that one can not have self control through the flesh. Because the flesh is weak and relying on the flesh to have self control cannot work. Truly! The Flesh wants to be in dominion, and it takes us working in the spirit to overcome and tame the flesh. 
I feel that it's even harder to be abstinent after  being involved in sex because you then have to give up what your body has gotten used to doing it.
It took time, years even. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, I had more self control against that part of me that derived so much pleasure in sinning.

Another part I had to struggle with was my temper.
Now! Ordinarily I am a very mellow person, some people even refer to be as being too quiet.  But the truth is my introvert nature did not stop my temper. I just got angry for what seemed like valid reasons at the time. I didn't get physical, but my tongue did a lot. I had the talent for being very caustic and cutting. And usually had a hard time being forgiven by the person because I had said something really
harsh and hurtful.
The irony was that when I looked back, I often realized, it was something I could have ignored.
Oh! How I yearned for self control then. To be able to control myself in the face of intense provocation no matter how tempting it was, to resist the urge to vent to my anger and hurt the person back.

Eventually, I invited God into the situation oh after I realized that some people usually provoked me during the times of praying and  fasting or during one spiritual exercise or the other. And immediately I vented, I felt all the efforts and progress I had hitherto made vamoose like released trapped air.
I prayed for grace and I had to learn to control my tongue and my temper especially in the face of provocation. I had to learn not to reply immediately, giving me a chance to calm down.
Lol. Saw this pic on E's blog
 I am learning to count till 100 sometimes too. I am not always successful, but I have more self control now.
 It's a work in progress.

The truth is that self control takes work. As the first pic says, it is knowing you CAN, but deciding you WONT. The ability to stick with what you have decided to do is what self control is all about.
 Restraint takes work. And it takes the help of the Holy Spirit. It's a fruit of the Spirit after all.
Galatians 5: 22-23 says :
" But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control........"
 Having self control shows that we have the fruit of the spirit. That Christ is inside us and we are in Christ.

Self control is  also pretty multi faceted and people struggle to have control in different respects.
Read Frances's Post on the impact of discipline as regards weight loss and other aspects Here.

pi
It could be regarding food.
 I have a friend that finds it hard to fast just because he loves food and cannot do without food. Forgetting that even Jesus fasted forty days and nights.
Oprah recently said that her major accomplishment ( even more than her Money, empire,  accomplishments, awards, accolades, honorary degrees) was eating just ten potato chips and putting the rest away.
Imagine the battle she must have had with food before she could get so happy at controlling her appetite and not letting it control her.

Self control takes discipline.
One can also struggle to have self control when it comes to Sex and all other things sexual in nature.
There are people who do not have any self control whatsoever.

Our heart and thoughts. Sometimes our heart isn't as easily controlled as we might like to think.
It it any wonder Jesus Christ said in Matthew 15: 19,
" for from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander".
Most of what results in sin would have being avoided if we had controlled our hearts from thinking it in the first place.
The good news is that our thoughts can be controlled.
 2 Corinthans 10 vs 5 says
" Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of 
God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience if Christ;"

Anger
I used my example above. But it's not just me. A lot of people struggle with anger. A lot of marriages would have survived today if one of the parties had had self control. 
Some people will not be dead today, if one party had been able to control their anger. A lot of domestic violence and child abuse will be avoided if there was more self control.

Pride and power . it takes a lot of self control not to get swollen headed when we get to a powerful position. It takes self control to realize that all power belongs to God. I have seen hitherto nice individuals turn proud and vindictive just because their status changed.

 Moods ( being determined to have joy in your heart during times of discouragement or sadness isn't a easy something) e.t.c. There was a time when it seemed like I couldn't stop myself from getting depressed. Any little thing could send me into a spiral that took days or months to lift.
I decided to be in control of my moods and not let it control me. I make a conscious decision not to be discouraged, not to be sad and it gets better.

Tongue: our tongues can do a lot of damage. some people cannot control the urge to spew venom or to gossip.Like a parrot they go on and on. I know people who I have stopped telling things concerning  them that I heard somewhere else. Even those that can help them or are detrimental to them because they usually cannot hear and keep quiet or control their tongues to keep quiet.
Some times we have to learn to use restraint in our words and conversations.

Money. Some people also struggle for self control as regards their spending habits or their attitude to money. Lol.
I usually giggle when my Colleague says about another person " he/ she can carry money put on a transformer" . Meaning that the person likes money so much that he/ she will not mind the possibility of electrocution. It's funny, but doesn't portray the person in question has having self control when it comes to money. 

Don't forget: we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. The first step is realizing that particular area we need to have self control in.

What has been your experience regarding self control?
Do share.

2 comments:

  1. 1. How does one do this?! @ " Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of
    God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience if Christ;"

    2. How?! @"mainly because I tried to do it on my own. As soon as I invited God into the equation however, it became a lot easier"

    Hiya Sold to Christ... Please can you help expatiate on the above.. This was an Apt read.. But i need to know How you did the above. Please assist.. and oh yeah.. worry not.. I always see your response. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Duru!
      Thanks for your questions and for getting in touch with me too.
      I appreciate both.
      I will do a post on this to make it more detailed.

      Delete

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