Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Self Control or Controlling Self?


                                           A person without self-control is like a house
                                              with its doors and windows knocked out.
                                                          Proverbs 25:28 (MSG)

  I have read that scripture many times but until I looked at this picture did not realize the depths of how a lack of self control could produce such devastation.  Somewhere in the life of this house it was left to ruin.  It is easy to let things go as they older building usually takes more care then a new one.  My thoughts go to: Gal 5: 22  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control:  against such things there is no law.  I have to wonder if self control is what all the rest of the fruits of the Spirit hinge on.  Without self control none of the fruits of the Spirits will ever be evidence in my life and I  would become like that house. 

When  my faith was brand spanking new, I was so eager  to work at scriptures such as Gal. 5:22.  First, God gave me  a whole new vocabuary.  Within a few months I was convicted about my bothered me that a little skinny paper tube with tobacco in it could make me dig through the trash to find a half smoked cigerette.  After a  battle of withdrawals I finally laid them down.  Have never picked them again, praise God for His help.  It was then I realize this one fruit, self control, could bring the rest of the fruit to a harvest.  Trust me it did  not happen over night but slowly God begin to replace my wanting to please  myself to pleasing Him.

Now that I am older in the Lord it is easier to use my age as an excuse to not exercise self control or control of self.  This thought sometimes runs through my mind, I am a mature Christian I can watch or read this and not be affected.  With lots of spiritual battles under my belt you would think it would make the battle easier...not so.  Oh I know more scripture then I did when my faith was new but it's easy to fall back on all those experiences for motivation to over come the flesh.  Below are  some of the things I still  battle.

1. What comes out of my mouth...   Pro. 13:13 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. 

2. My reactions to hurts... Oh do I ever need self control on this one or my temper will tear others down like the house in the picture.  Pro. 19:11 If you're sensible, you'll control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it's a great virture to ignore it. 

3. My schedule. ..The first word speaks volume...for when it's "MY" schedule instead of the Lords I will be frustrated.  Ephesian 5:15-16 Live life with a due sense of responsibility . Make the best use of my time. 

4. My money...there I go again calling it "MY MONEY" ...Proverbs 20:21 A wise man or woman saves for the future, but the foolish man or woman spends what he or she gets.  There is so much out there to bring temptation to buy, buy, buy. 

5. My health...This one really gets to me...Pro. 23:3 If you have a  big appetitie, restrain yourself...control self's love of Taco Bell.

There are many thing we cannot control, the weather so it will not rain on our parade,  and the tides from going in and out among many other things.  God does not require that we control things that are beyond us.  When we try it turns into worry.  Some things we just need to accept and work our way through.   Our biggest disappointments come when we try to control people, especially our own children we have reared from birth.    Our children need for us to understand the truths of the Word on a lack of self control so we do not pass onto them a "victim" mentality. 

Proverbs 16:32 shows a more positive side of self-control: "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Here Solomon uses an entirely different word for "rule," but the sense of self-control remains. A comparison of the two proverbs reveals the great importance of self-control as both an offensive and defensive attribute.  Self control defeats the enemy, the world and the flesh

                                  God help me to live like a victor and 
                                         not a victim.   



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The list, wow I have to reflect to myself where I hinge.

    Betty, I think so much of Gal 5:22 and how the fruits is being ordered. I know there is a sequence to the list.... first is love, so if we have mastered how to love (with the agape love), then joy comes so easy and naturally, and of course peace.... and patience.

    You know what I get stuck with gentleness so much... and do I get to self-control. Anger is never a way to go there. Ha ha ha...

    I love you and your thoughts, Betty and think of how I gave all the worries of money to my Rich Father in heaven. Third world denizen is hard-money-to-come-by.

    Mind you, I do still think of ways but I am so helpless... so I thank Him that He is gonna take care of things.

  3. Your last statement says it all Betty. I want to live like a victor not a victim. If much different this world would be. Thanks for your thoughts and the needed reminder of self-control in ALL areas.

  4. Wow... That was a powerful post. Who doesn't fail at our weaknesses? I believe the strength of God shows up in our self control... if we lack it, we lack Him... I really hate to over simplify it, because it gives me no place to hide.

    Thanks for the wise words, they are difficult, but I guess it can't always be chocolate and rainbows...

  5. always your way of putting things add so much. He does take care of us doesn't He. Thank you for your comments

  6. Bill my sure say a lot with few words. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings

  7. Floyd...several things started me on the route my post took. I so think you are right, it is God's strength that shows up when we exercise self control.

    It is the difficults things that usually reap the best harvest. Hummm chocolate and rainbow...thats a ...Floyd...pair..

  8. So wonderful and fitting right, in our 'family' issues, thank you for visiting my little blog site, bless you.
    Sharon O

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  10. I do believe in Floyd's statement. I am so aware of my lack when I give in to human weaknesses. I thank God for the spirit that is in me, He counsels and stirs us to awareness of the need to draw near to Him.

    Thanks, Floyd and Betty.

    May God prosper all the seeds in us so that we may bear the fruits in season. (Sigh)

  11. Amen...and yes letting our children go and having self-control...oh my, that was for me this week, still working on that one...I am sure they wished I would hurry up and learning it soon!

    As you said self-control may be the hinge for all the others...I have heard that it starts with love and ends with self-control...because the two are the bookends for all the others

  12. Janette, like the bookends picture of love and self control the others tucked in the middle...have to remember that one. Blessings.

    Thanks Sharon for stopping by my site.

    Lolita, you came back to encouraged our are a wise hearted women.

  13. I love your honesty (list) and the conviction that comes from each of His Word you shared...Only by His grace are we able to learn or master self-control. For I know many men who have trained themselves well to be well-disciplined but they also get the glory not God. May we master self-control as His power is working in us.

    I'm glad you liked that song I posted. I believe the title is "We Will Dance" by David Luis? I'm not sure now if it's the right name of the composer. I love this song so much every time we sing this in our fellowship. May you always be strong in the Lord's mighty power.

  14. Rosel, you are a gem...I too have known some who walked in pride because they were very self control..ridged. Not any grace shown to those who fail, sad. It seems any time I even felt like I was gaining control something would happen to show me how much I need the Lord to work any of the fruits in my life.

    Thanks for the encouragement my sister.

    Thanks for the name of the song, will look it it.

  15. Wow, Betty!

    Wow...Truth from a wise-heart...

    Thank you....

  16. Thank you Betty. These were valuable words to me.

  17. Elizabeth, valuable is a good word for truth...thanks for stopping by. Blessings

  18. Self control is one of the gifts of the Spirit, and how beautiful the analogy you gave of a house that is falling apart when we have no self control.

    A person who has lost control over his emotions is like someone who has handed the remote control of his life over to somebody or something else. Somebody is pushing the buttons in his life, and he is powerless... unless he takes back the remote control.

    I personally have received a lesson on this precious gift, Betty. True and godly self control only means to live a life that flows under the sovereignty and authority of God.

    Beautiful post from a wise heart.

    Much love

  19. Lidia, I would love to hear about the lesson God gave you. Just today my self control is being tested, someone must be praying for me for I have stayed calm and not spoken out of my frustration. Blessings sister.

  20. Betty, thanks for sharing this post. I'm so glad I stopped by and was able to read it. Perfectly timed as I'm in a season that requires much more discipline than ever before. It comes down to self-control. I must remember that it is a fruit of the Spirit and not a striving of the flesh. Sometimes in my stubbornness, I try to do stuff on my own (and fail miserably!). I'm thankful for your words ... always beautiful, always challenging, always encouraging. I pray you are doing well! Thank you again. - Jenn

  21. Hi Jenn, thanks for stopping by. It's an area God is working on my life too. You know I never struggle with losing my salvation, it secure but this thing of self control I think will remain a challenge till we go home to be with the Lord. Blessings my wise hearted sister.