Do you struggle with developing self-control in your life? Here are 8 actions steps you can take today.
I was sitting at my desk, reading my Bible in the early dawn when my husband walked into the room. "I hate it," he muttered. He must have noticed my raised eyebrows, because he smiled and clarified for me. "I hate the disciplined life." Then he pulled on his jogging clothes and went for a run.
He had to. He has preached about self-control in our college chapel. So, yeah. He couldn't just blow it off.
The message he preached from Titus 2 was really convicting for me because I have so many pockets of laziness in my life, so many examples of a failure to exhibit self-control. It is something I have been working on and meditating on lately.
A few weeks ago I picked up a thought-provoking book and ended up reading it all the way through. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan suggests focusing our life and our efforts of self-discipline on the area most effective for attaining our goals. I always try to analyze what I read in the light of Scripture, so there were a number of things I found myself thinking about after I finished the book, and one of them was the interesting argument that will power is a myth.
They call it a myth because we often make plans with the assumption that when we are dropped into that challenging place of decision or temptation in our lives, our will power will be there to bolster us up. The stark reality, they argue, is that when we lean on our own will power, we often find it has mysteriously gone AWOL.
We probably find this true in our lives. For instance:
In the moment of temptation, we often fail the will-power test.
But self-control is NOT a myth. It is commanded by God. Titus 2 actually spells out all the categories of people who are supposed to exercise self-control: old men (vs. 2), old women and young women (vs. 5), and young men (vs. 6). That pretty much means everyone on planet earth, right? And if we aren't clear on that, verses 11-12 mention again that "the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us. . .to live self-controlled."
That means me. My husband. You.
But how can we do this? Here are eight suggestions for specific actions we can take today.
8 Actions We Can Take to Promote Self-Control in our Lives
These are eight things that I have found extremely helpful in my own battle for self-discipline. It's a battle I'm constantly fighting.
How about you?
It's easy to get discouraged when we know we have failed so often in the past, but God has commanded self-control. Let's take action today to obey this important, life-altering command.
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Tim and Laura
Timothy and Laura Berrey are missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association. They share a passion for missions which has taken them to several countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They currently minister in the Philippines.
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