Do You Practice Self-Control?

 “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Prov. 29:11

Outdoorsmen are known to be passionate about their sport. For an angler, there are at least 7 Warning Signs that your passion for fishing is out of control:

  1. Your refrigerator drawer is full of night crawlers.
  2. You carry pictures of your favorite lures in your wallet.
  3. You named your kids Gill, Rod, and Stinkbait.
  4. Cats follow you everywhere you go.
  5. You practice casting in the bathtub.
  6.  Selling your gear could put the kids through medical school.
  7. You leave your hot spot to someone in your will.

Seriously though, some individuals will spend more time, effort, and resources trying to perfect the ballistics of their ammunition or tying a specific fly than improving relationships within their homes. I’ve seen professional bass fishermen sacrifice everything in their quest to attain success. At one time or another we have all suffered from the addiction of our passions.

God has a lot to say about self-control. Throughout the New Testament, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we should have authority over our bodies, including our tongues: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.” 1 Thess. 4:3-4 and “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” James 1:26 The reason James can speak with such conviction is that prior to accepting the Lord as his personal Savior, he was an out-of-control guy.

A person with an uncontrolled spirit is an embarrassment to God and his family. Self-control is a chief ingredient to spiritual maturity and effectiveness in the kingdom. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9

Whether it’s an out-of-control passion or addiction, a quick temper, the loose lips of gossip, crude joking, or an undisciplined mind that allows improper thoughts to roam freely, let’s confess our weaknesses and allow the Holy Spirit to “add self-control to our knowledge” of truth.

The Power of Truth:

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Prov. 25:28 (NIV)
“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” Prov. 16:32
“All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” 1 Cor. 9:25

Suggestion for Prayer:

Ask God to reveal anything in you that is out-of-control. Ask Him to cleanse you of all unrighteousness and to take control of this area of your life. Commit to practicing self-control.