How many times have you said or done something and immediately wished you could take it back or rewind and do it differently? How many times have you seen the look of hurt on someone’s face and knew you were the one who put it there? Face it. You lost your cool. Or maybe you fell off the diet or alcohol wagon and indulged in that molten chocolate desert or martini and you feel like a failure. Your self-control button was turned off. It happens to all of us at one time or another.
But you see, one of the keys to successful living is self-control. That means controlling our emotions, our desires, our passions, and yes, our tongues. Self-control is about self-discipline. The Bible compares it to sports. It says, “Run your race to win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.” Self-control is essential to success in living, as well as in sports.
Let me suggest a few ways to learn it:
- Be honest with yourself about where you lack self-control. If you can’t stop yourself from saying ugly things, walk away. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to say or do things you know will hurt others.
- If you have an addiction, admit it! That’s always the first step in recovery.
- Then ask God for self-discipline.
- Finally, take action on that discipline, one day at a time.
Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It’s one of the ways by which others will know that you are a child of God. Take a minute to read the entire verse in Galatians 5:22-23. You’ll find all of the fruits of the Spirit there. They are truly the keys to having victory in your life.