“Be self-controlled and alert.” 1 Peter 5:8a
Developing self-control will help you tremendously as you seek to follow and become more like Jesus Christ. And what we learn in the Bible is that self-control is both a fruit of the Spirit and a part of a larger progression of spiritual growth.
Peter, who learned some difficult lessons about self-control himself wrote this:
“Your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Where are you struggling to exert some self-control? Are you struggling to control your temper with your husband, wife, or kids? Are you struggling to work diligently? Or maybe you work so diligently on the job you feel you’re entitled to spend your evenings playing video games, watching TV, or closing the door of communication with your family Are you having a hard time living without that drink? How about your eating or spending habits? I could go on and on, but I think you catch my drift.
Self-control is a “fruit” that grows in your life when you cling closely to God, allowing his Spirit to flow through you. As you persevere, God will develop his own character in you, including self-control. And remember, you’re not alone. Seek help from your pastor, a wise friend, or a counselor—God has put these people in your life to help you in your efforts to be faithful.
“The greatest strength and wealth is self-control.” – Pythagoras (6th century B.C.)