Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho once wrote in one of his novels, “If you conquer yourself, then you will conquer the world.” Sounds like a great plan, right? But why do so many of us suffer from lack of self-control, either with our eating habits, exercise routines, emotions, studying, words and more?
According to a study revealed in Scientific American the act of self-control can be equated to using your muscles. To be successful at it we need to practice and practice. Our self-control muscles also get fatigued as we use them to keep our bad behavior at bay. So it needs to be replenished. Maybe that’s why the weight loss program, Noom, encourages its participants to indulge on occasion. We need a break from our self-control workout which might come in the form of a spa day, special food treat, a day of binge watching, or in one of my daughter’s cases, a day free from talking to anyone.
Years ago, psychologists surmised we needed to work on self-esteem for success in life. But they are now finding self-control to be the true factor. Self-control leads us to higher self-esteem and success with relationships, careers, and more.
Friend, when we accepted Jesus as our savior, we were given a self-control workout coach – the Holy Spirit. He is there both through the Word of God and the Spirit’s nudging to remind us of the benefits of self-control. We keep our tongues. Keep our emotions in check. Treat our bodies as God’s temples. Use our minds to better ourselves and those around us. Self-control is not some Puritan dirty word. It’s the secret word. It’s the key to unlock all that God wants for us. It’s the lesson Jesus taught the apostle Peter throughout the Gospels.
Gracious Father, so often I want to lean toward the desires of my flesh. Speak to me through your Word and the whispering of the Holy Spirit to refresh my self-control and keep me from falling off track. Amen