All throughout the Scriptures we are warned about the dangers that come from displaying a lack of self control. Food, laziness, lust, money…all these things have the power to control us if we let it. We are sinful in nature and so prone to worshiping things that bring us fleeting feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Relying on Christ, disciplining ourselves, and examining our hearts with the Word are the only means of fighting against these fleshly desires. When we aren’t being obedient to what the Bible says, sin so easily takes hold of us and causes nothing but destruction.
One area I struggle with a lack of self-control concerns the tongue. The Proverbs are full of verses that describe the power of the tongue. With our tongue we can bring blessings to people, or we can curse them (Proverbs 15:1-2). An untamed tongue is like an uncontrolled fire. When I look back at some really hard times in my life, I see instances where I should have guarded my mouth…but instead, I spewed hurtful and hate-filled words. Instead of using my speech to encourage people and show grace, I allowed my sin to fester and this lack of control proved devastating. Words have ruined relationships, they have caused immense pain in people’s lives, and I admit to indulging in this lack of discipline. It made me feel a sense of satisfaction when I said things without thinking, when I aimed hurtful words at people to make them feel the pain that I felt. I wish I could take back all the times I ever hurt others with my speech. That is the thing about words, you can never take them back. The damage is done, but since I have repented of this weakness and strive to pursue righteousness, God has shown me immense grace and mercy.
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
This verse from Proverbs 25 describes the destruction and chaos that lack of self-control gives birth to. As believers, we know that we are to live a life that follows that of Christ. We are to die to ourselves and our fleshly desires and obey God. Each person may struggle differently in certain areas of their life, but the fact that sin destroys remains true. It is so easy to become slave to things and fall into the snares of sin. We are weak-minded human beings in desperate need of saving. When we have self-control, which comes from Christ, we can begin to live a life that reflects the righteousness of Jesus. Jesus selflessly sacrificed Himself on our behalf, securing our eternal welfare. He walked in loving obedience to the Father and we must mirror His image. Because of Christ, we possess the power to bring our sins under control and bring glory to God through our obedience to Him. No longer do we have to be slaves to what controls us but freed to pursue a life that walks in loving obedience to the Father. It is so important to stay in the Word and nourish ourselves with the truths that have the power to transform us and our sinful desires. Do you struggle with a lack of self-control in certain areas of your life? There is hope to overcome this. Through the redemption of Christ, we must control our fleshly desires or else they will control us.