1. the ability to control oneself, in particular, one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations
One of my favorite quotes I have heard on the topic of self-control is this:
“Being out of control, is having self-control”– David Cross
Now surely, this doesn’t mean that you can go crazy and run ramped through the streets. What this quote is saying, is that the only way for us to have self-control is to give the control of our lives over to God in everything we do.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
When the Holy Spirit and your fleshly desires are constantly battling, you become trapped. Then, 1 or 2 things begin to take place;
1. We are unable to do the things we want to do because we are always between what we should be doing and what our flesh wants.
2. We use will-power to compensate for true self-control. But what happens when our willpower fails and we give into fleshly desires? We spiral into this nasty cycle: will-power, failure, shame, repeat. In our own humanness, will-power will always fail without God.
I believe sometimes we have this misconception that God gives us the ability to control ourselves, and when we fail, He’s looking down from Heaven in disappointment. What we don’t realize is that we don’t have to do it by ourselves. It tells us in Galatians 5:16-17 that it is not us who has the power to thoroughly control ourselves, but self-control is truly produced when the Holy Spirit is able to invade our hearts.
When we let God take control of our lives in every aspect, He is able to guide and direct us in every possible situation. Whether we need help in eating healthier or staying focused while we study for that big test, He is always right there cheering us on and helping us along the way. How do we get to a place where all of our control is given to Jesus? It’s a daily act of submission and sitting in His presence, however, you may choose. Know that there are many ways for God to speak into your life. Praying and reading your Bible is always a good starting point but please remember that God can also speak to you through music, art, and even sports! He is everywhere and always wants to talk with you through whatever way you might receive it.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to influence our daily lives, they will begin to bear the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5: 22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.