Self is the total being of who I am. It is who I am in my own skin. Self is what I think and how I respond to my pattern of thinking. Control is the power to influence or direct behavior. Therefore, self-control is the power that I possess to influence or direct my behavior in response to my pattern of thinking and or belief. Wow, you mean to tell me I can rule who I am? You mean to tell me I have the power to influence how I behave? It was a comedian by the name of Flip Wilson years ago who played a character named Geraldine. The excuse that Geraldine always gave when caught doing wrong was, “The devil made me do it.” This excuse implied that it wasn’t her fault. Because someone else made her do it.
I complete the fruit of the Spirit this month with self-control. This is the most difficult one for me to allow the Holy Spirit to develop in my life. Just as soon as I realize I have some measure of self-control in one area of my life, I discover that there are other areas that I totally fail in. Self-control means saying no to things that can lead me to do wrong.
The one thing that gives me hope is that the Father is concerned about everything that concerns me, even the littlest things. I am just that important to Him and so are you. Whether addicted to food, drugs, sex or gossip, God desires to help and He will if we let Him. My heart’s desire is to change. His desire is for me to change. Together, it can be done.
The older I get on this journey with my Lord, the more I can truthfully identify with those who have gone on before me. Listen to the Apostle Paul… I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So, if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. Romans 7: 14-25 Message Bible
With that said, I know I can do better and will become better. I will not sabotage myself but will lean upon the One who helps me to win the battle that is ongoing. Today is going to be a great day!