The Spirit of God Helps Us Have Self Control.
The struggle between spirit and flesh is real, and this is what makes us humans.
Nowadays, numerous things compete for our attention, including entertainment, food and drinks, sex, and more. This mindset at times raises our physical self to an unhealthy level. A friend of mine told me that “you can choose your actions or your outcome, but you cannot choose both.” This simply means that you can choose an endpoint and do the favorable actions that will reach you there, or you can choose your actions or what you will do in this life and then let the outcome be as it will be.
We teach kids to sit quietly at the dinner table, we expect teenagers to refrain from causing problems or outbursts in classrooms, and we hope the youths to be aware of their desires and choose not to fulfill them in harmful ways. We also hope our leaders and pastors can demonstrate high levels of self-control. But, the truth is that self-control is hard regardless of your age. There is good news for you! 1st Corinthians 10:13, God is faithful and will never let you be tempted beyond your ability.
Moreover, with these temptations, He will also provide us with ways of escape so we can endure them.
For beginners, self-control presumes two things: The presence of something within you that needs to be stopped and the possibility of you drawing power to refrain from it.
Our hearts are new for us believers of Christ, but still, the poison of indwelling sin runs through our veins. We have both bad desires to renounce and good desires to keep in check and respond only appropriately. The key here is to ask God to replenish our hearts with this fruit of the Holy Spirit, and surely, He will because He listens and answers our prayers. Without self-control, our appetite for pleasures and comfort can become our masters, and this undoubtedly leads us into sin or blocks us in our spiritual walk. If the Holy Spirit does not govern our physical being, we become vulnerable and easy targets for Satan since we lack self-control, 1st Corithians7:5.
Self-control is the work of the Holy Spirit and not the work of individuals. Galatians 5:22, Self-control is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, rather not the fruit of the Christian.
With this in mind, let us always ask the Holy Spirit to intervene and help us to have consistent self-control. Sin runs deep inside us, but as believers of Christ, we have the One within us who gives us strength to say no to temptations. Without Christ, we cannot choose what is right, mostly when it does not feel good. Fortunately, we serve a true and living God who works wonders in our struggles and weakness. We just have to seek Him. According to Proverbs 25: 28, if you lack self-control, you are just like a city that has been broken into and then left without walls. It is vulnerable to anything that comes through its way.
When I was a young boy, I had the habit of biting my nails whenever I felt nervous or distracted. This was the case when I had nothing to do. By the end of all that fiddling, I ended up wearing all my fingernails down to the bone. This habit made me feel very exposed and ashamed of myself. At first, this seemed to be a minor issue, but surprisingly, the habit extended into my teenage life, and eventually, I found myself biting nails as a grown-up person.
After completing my undergraduate degree, I actively sought my dream job to elevate my course and earn some work experience. I tirelessly went from company to company, dropping my resume hoping that I would get a call from one of the companies. Weeks turned into months, and finally came the second year, and still, my applications were unsuccessful. As I was about to give up, I got a call from a top manufacturing company from my region inviting me for an interview. Finally, I felt lively again. I prepared adequately for the interview and even had the feeling that surely I would get the job.
Finally, the D-day was here. I was well prepared for the interview but was a bit nervous, which is normal considering how desperately I needed the job. As I sat there explaining myself to the panel, my weird nail-biting behavior popped up again unknowingly. I did the entire interview while biting my nails, and unfortunately, no one from the panel bothered to stop me. After the interview, I went home confident that I would secure the job. Three days later, I received an email that broke my heart. The recruiting officer explained how I had passed my interview, but my behavior denied me the chance. He explained how they failed to understand that a grown-up person biting his nails will focus on a job that required perfection every day.
After this disappointment, it dawned on me that I needed to end this behavior to succeed in my next interview. Being a born-again Christian, I prayed to God and read the scriptures about the need for self-control. It was hard to break the habit, having practiced it over decades, but I can proudly say that with God’s intervention, I was able to break the habit and finally secured a job in one of the leading companies in my region.
After being baptized, Jesus went to the wilderness for 40 days. Satan then came to tempt him. Christ demonstrated self-control when Satan offered Him the entire world.
However, Jesus knew that God’s kingdom was the only everlasting kingdom. Christ is the perfect reflection of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, including self-control. He is love, kindness, patience, and good. The bible tells us that we can look to Jesus and pray to emulate and become more like Him in all aspects, including self-control.
Whenever you feel like you are struggling with self-control, the best thing is to Pray to God to rescue you from temptations. According to Mathew 6:133, Christ taught us to pray to not fall into temptations and be delivered from the Evil. Mathew 26:41, You should watch yourself so that you do not fall into temptation. The bible tells us that the spirit is always willing, but the flesh is weak.