Summary: Self-control makes us more like Christ
Determination of Life or having self in control
Let us first look at what the Bible says about self-control. 2 PT 5-8 GAL 5:23 2 TIM 3 1-5
We would have to say that many of our problems that we face in life come from our lack of self-control. This is the last of the fruits of the spirit given to us. Many have gone to blame others for what is not happening in their lives but the problem is not others but me. PR 25:28. We could liken our lives to a car that is kept in good maintenance. It runs smoothly. A result of being in self-control would be that we are confident and feel secure. What do we achieve if we do not master self-control? 1 COR 9:25 “All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” The Olympics have just been completed and those that won the prize have been doing what they won for man years. One lady I heard about was at her fourth Olympic game. That means she has been in training for over 16 years. How many years have you been putting in for you spiritual life? The race that we are running is for eternal life. I have also found that if we want to be really free for the use of Jesus in my life I need to have self-control. One man said, “No man is truly free until he masters himself.” Jesus said that “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” An example from the O. T is Samson who was a strong man but was slave to his lusts because he lacked self control. We can be strong but if we lack self-control we get into trouble. How many ways are there that people try to gain self-control? There are pills you can take, therapy classes, seminars, making resolutions, and even surgery that are offered to help. I read that one way to lose weight is to use the Gastric Bubble Program which involves putting a big plastic bubble into your stomach. The reason is that your stomach will feel full so you will eat less. Have you tried that? We hear of quick and simple ways to improve our lives and they might work for a while but many do not last because we still have the human nature to deal with. I know that it takes a little longer but if we use the word of God it will help us develop self-control in the right way. As we have given in all the fruits before we will give ways from God’s word to help us in this fruit of the Spirit.
1. We need to admit that we have a problem. We need to take responsibility for our lack of self-control. James 1:14 “Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires.” This is telling we do wrong things because we like to. It comes from an inner desire. We can say, “I don’t have a problem that is just the way I am, it is the family I was born into, or the devil made me do it.” When we fix the blame on someone else we cannot fix the problem. God says we are responsible for our own behavior. RM 5:12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." Two kinds of servitude are contrasted here. One brings death as its wages; the other results in eternal life, not as wages earned or merited, but as a gift of God. 3:23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, I JN 1:10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. With sin in our life we do not have self-control and so our first step in getting self-control is admitting we are sinners. Have you taken that step yet?
2. We need let go of our past. Phil 3:13, 14. We cannot go with the feeling that I was once a failure and I will always be that way. It is not saying I have tried before to be what I want to be but it just did not work out so I give up. Failure in the past does not mean you can never change. If we keep our focus on the past failure that is where we will stay. How far would you get if you tried to drive your car by looking out the rearview mirror all the time? That is way the windshield is so much bigger. What if you did this when you were first trying to walk? I tried three times and I just can not get the hang of it. Learning how to ride a bike took me many tries and crashes but once I took off what a great feeling. To learn self-control one needs to let go of the past. Try again. Do not call it a failure but a learning experience.