Exercising Self Control
You have heard the following statements: "the flesh is weak," "I am human," "I am like that, deal with it," "no one is perfect," "it is a little white lie," "I know what I have to do, but this is more fun," etc...
Unfortunately, there have been many occasions in which I have heard these assertions from the mouths of Christians. When I hear this, my heart is saddened, and I ask myself: Where is the self-control of these brothers and sisters? Self-control is the ability that allows us to control our desires and our emotions and not that they control us. It is synonymous with temperance, and biblically, it is nothing more than the control given by God to all of us so that we can deny ourselves sin and everything that displeases God.
The bible says in 2 Timothy 1;7 7 For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, love and self-control. This verse reminds us of who we are, invalidating all the statements above. The flesh may be weak, but God has equipped us with the self-control to do what is right. Yes, we are human, but we have a conscience and within us is the Holy Spirit of God; He guides us and alerts us. God is the only perfect one, and we have weaknesses, but remember, our weaknesses glorify Him. Every lie is a sin, there are no levels, and there is no such thing as a white lie; if what you are going to say is untrue, it is better to keep quiet. Doing wrong knowing what is right is worse than being wrong through ignorance. The rules are for your benefit and safety. By violating them, you open the door to dire consequences.
Many things we go through are consequences of actions in which we do not exercise self-control. Self-control applies to many areas of our lives. For everything, we must exercise self-control. Otherwise, we would live in total debauchery and lack of control. Imagine if we all did what we wanted, wow! How disastrous it would be. God is not present in the absence of self-control and disorder; it is why it is crucial to keep our desires and emotions under control.
Self-control in our lives grows as we strengthen our relationship with God. It is something we cultivate and is not easy to achieve, nor is it achieved overnight. It involves our faithfulness and obedience to God. It is a fruit of the Spirit and extremely important because it will help us withstand the temptations that daily come into our lives to try to make us lose focus and move away from God.
The following example explains the consequences of not having self-control:
“A young boy makes friends with a group whose character and reputation are bad. At first, they seem fine, but the boy quickly realizes that they smoke, use drugs, and are part of a gang. For this young man to make the right decision, he must have:
1) Fear of God
2) A relationship with God
3) A life consecrated to God,
It is the only way he may recognize that they can spoil his salvation. If the young man has these things, he will get away from this group because he knows he is weak, and God is the only one with the power to change them.
If we do not have these in our lives, we will become slaves to our passions and desires, which can be disastrous. It will lead us to fatal consequences such as the loss of our testimony as believers, the decline of our spiritual lives (cooling off), the loss of fear of God, and the emergence of new harmful habits such as lies and rebellion. By looking at how it all starts, we realize that the sin of disobedience enters as a simple seed that later makes it very difficult for us to reverse the moment it bears fruit.”
The lack of self-control reveals that we lack a relationship with God. That we are not committed to God and obeying Him as we should. It shows that we lack character and are spiritually immature. And yes, I am clear that we all make mistakes. But when we constantly repeat the same mistakes, we let external people influence us or accept everything as correct even though we know it is wrong is time to work on our self-control.
I invite you to analyze and think before doing anything. To ask yourself, Am I doing the right thing? Am I exercising self-control ? or am I a slave to my emotions or passions of my flesh? Remember, God equipped us with all the tools to overcome temptation; we need to let the Holy Spirit take control and start exercising self-control.