As we look around the world today, we can see quite obviously that something is truly missing. People are doing drugs, having affairs, driving under the influence of some substance, not going to church, and too many more issues to list here. You get my point though. The world at-large is missing self-control.
Proverbs 25:28 (KJV) “He that hath no rule [self-control] over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
Self-control brings with it the good feeling of competency. Like a finely tuned precision automobile, your life stays on course with the slightest touch of steering. The results of self-control are confidence and an inner sense of security.
Self-control and self-discipline are also key factors in any success you hope to have in this life. Without self-discipline, you are unlikely to achieve anything of lasting value.
The apostle Paul realized this when he wrote, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25 KJV).
Olympic athletes train for years in order to have a chance to win a brief moment of glory. But the race we are running is far more important than any earthly athletic event. So self-control is not optional for Christians.
How do we gain true self-control?
Admit your problem. The starting point for developing self-control is to face what God has already said about me: I am responsible for my behavior.
James 1:14 (KJV) “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
Do you realize what that says? It says you do things because you like to do them! When I do something I know is bad for me, I still do it because I like to do it. I want to do it; it’s an inner desire.
Do you want more self-control? Admit you have a problem and be specific about it. Begin praying specifically about your problem areas.
Put your past behind you. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…”
Failure in the past does not mean you’ll never be able to change. Focusing on past failures, however, does guarantee their repetition. It’s like driving a car and looking in the rearview mirror the whole time. You’re going to collide with what’s ahead of you.
Ask God to help you put your past behind you. Ask God to help give you the strength to change. Self-control shows God that you are working towards His goals and not your own.