The Simple Truth About Self-Control
I’ve never been an early riser. A comfortable bed and cozy covers give me every excuse to stay put. But the house doesn’t get cleaned, and articles don’t write themselves if I don’t exercise some self-control.
For better or for worse, temperance, or self-control, affects all areas of our lives. It’s evidenced in the words we choose to speak, the food we decide to eat, the way we spend our time, and even how we use our resources.
Temperance is listed as the ninth fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). Oddly enough, in order to exhibit self-control, we have to relinquish control to the Holy Spirit – so He can guide and direct our daily decisions.
Temperance or self-control is powerful in an “if it feels good do it” society.
Ready to take a closer look at this important fruit?
The following is an excerpt for my Bible study, Outrageously Fruitful with a few additions.
A Life Lesson:
My morning routine is pretty straight-forward: feed the pets, exercise, eat breakfast, and do my Bible study. I leave plenty of time for writing, and household chores. There are two things that can sabotage my day – not scheduling my time, and failing to account for interruptions.
Believe it or not, sometimes it’s more challenging to get things done when I have fewer things scheduled. Temperance is not at the forefront of my mind. With no appointments to keep and just a couple articles to write for the day, it’s easy to squander time. Social media, email, and current events vie for my attention. Sometimes I cave in. What about you?
Using time wisely
When I take the time to schedule things on my calendar, I’m much less likely to give in to the time-wasters. I remember the importance of being a good steward of the time I’ve been given and tend to accomplish so much more. It’s easier to live with the mindset of Moses who authored the 90th Psalm:
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12, KJV
There isn’t a day that goes by without an interruption of some sort. Whether it’s a phone call or an unanticipated visitor, I’ve come to realize it’s wise to plan a little extra time for these unexpected breaks. Many times I’ve found them to be divine interruptions orchestrated by God to keep me mindful of his ultimate control of my schedule.
I remember the trip to the grocery store I’d carefully worked in between my final writing assignment and heading off to church. There weren’t many items on my list, so I knew I’d be in and out of the store quickly. God’s plan was a little different.
As I unloaded my groceries at the cash register, the clerk struck up a conversation with me about one of my purchases. I mentioned that I was taking some food to our mission conference. She began telling me the story of her husband who had recently accepted Christ as his Savior.
Her situation had been difficult for a number of years. Her face lit up when I offered to pray for her and her husband. Encouraging someone in the Lord was far more important than accomplishing everything on my to-do list that day.
What area of your life needs to be submitted to the control
of the Holy Spirit?
What step will you take today in order to do so?
Can I pray for you?
Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding us of the importance of self-control. Forgive us when we are more self-focused than God-focused. Help us yield to Your Holy Spirit, so we can be good stewards of the time, resources, and abilities You’ve given us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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