Grown by God: Self-Control

Think about some of the biggest messes you’ve seen people make of their lives. Maybe you’re thinking about big celebrity stories in the news involving an affair, a scandal, a DUI, or a drug charge. Maybe you’re thinking about a friend from school or work who got caught in an ugly lie that ruined a relationship he or she was in. Maybe you’re thinking about something that happened in your own life. Most of these huge messes all started from a really small word: sin. 

Think Break:

How does sin create a mess in people’s lives?

Whose fault is it when we sin?

Why is it important we take responsibility for our sins?

Small Decisions Big Consequences:

What started as a choice (maybe a seemingly small decision that didn’t really matter) can get out of hand so quickly. Think about so many instances from the Bible! One bite of forbidden fruit by Eve and Adam; one angry encounter between Cain and Abel; David’s one look from his palace rooftop; Pharaoh’s decision to not let the Israelites go when first asked. The list could be so much longer. Many times, the biggest problems originate with one small decision. A forest fire can be started all because one cigarette wasn’t properly extinguished. 

The Remedy:

So, what’s the remedy? It starts with self-control. How do you keep your life from falling apart because of one choice? You stop the destruction before it begins. When we were little, we probably looked to blame others for the wrong we did. We may have even said, “The devil made me do it.” Even when under pressure, we must remember that you and I are responsible for our own actions. Self-control is the idea that I get to (and must) dictate what my words, actions, and thoughts are. That’s right. At the end of the day (or night) every choice you make is ultimately your responsibility. 

Biblical Perspective:

From a biblical perspective, self-control isn’t recommended; it is demanded of those who want to follow Jesus. Our Lord Jesus was tempted while on this earth and He never sinned-not even once. He perfectly demonstrated control over His actions! As Christians, we should practice self-control (Titus 1:8). As we mature as people (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and as believers (spiritually), we should display heightened control over ourselves (Titus 2:2). 

Think about the great lengths people go to in order to control and train their bodies for sports. They go to early morning practices; they refuse cheeseburgers and cake; they run, sweat, lift, and study so that on game day they have every possible advantage. The apostle Paul says athletes will do all that for a perishable wreath and makes us ask, “How much more will we do for an imperishable one?” (1 Corinthians 9:25). 

Will you control yourself for the sake of being more like Jesus? Will you control yourself so that your life will be full of positive decisions that will in turn make your life more fulfilling? Always remember, your choices are yours and only you get to control the decisions you make!

More Devotionals on the fruit of the Spirit by Will Martin:

Grown by God: Love

Grown By God: Joy

Grown by God: Peace

Grown by God: Patience

Grown by God: Kindness

Grown by God: Goodness

Grown By God: Faithfulness

Grown by God: Gentleness

Grown by God: Self-Control

More Devotionals:

Red, Yellow, Black, and White

Cultivating Sustainable Change: You can Make a Difference

The Humility of Jesus



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