Self-control 3/10/18

Self-Control.

Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city breached, without walls, is one who lacks self-control.”

Taking responsibility for me and my actions are the first steps in the daily cycle of living like Christ. I am the starting point in my life and you are the starting point in your life. Whether you want to be a “leader” or not, God calls each of us to lead our own lives in accordance with Him. Living for Christ means leading others to Him.

Let’s take a look at a couple of passages to help us understand.

James 3 “Taming the Tongue”

I would encourage you to read the short passage of James 3, even if you are familiar with it already. The tongue is a great indicator of where you are spiritual. There are many who say that our mouths set the standard how wise we are. Just to clarify, this does not mean that you need a large vocabulary to please God. He is much more concerned with what you are not saying versus what you are. I am 100% guilty of using curse words or speaking negatively to someone or about someone. All this does is show my immaturity. The way that we speak about and to one another is far more important than you may realize. Words can literally start wars. Make sure that you are not starting wars in your own life. Work on thinking before speaking. Who is this going to offend? Will this be a positive or negative comment? Am I saying this simply to make myself feel better? There is the old adage that thinking it is just as bad as saying it. I have to strongly disagree. Saying it makes it real. Saying it affects others. Sinful thoughts do happen but we can control and filter how far those thoughts get.

The second passage to look at is Ephesians 6:10-20 “The Full Armor of God”

Again, take time to read these for yourselves. Notice the relationship between James 3 and this passage, particularly the very end. Paul, the author of Ephesians, gives us step by step instructions on how to be controlled and live according to God. Paul wanted us to understand that controlling ourselves is not a suggestion. In order to maintain growth and live according to God’s will, we have to be intentional about guarding ourselves. I can assure you the world is not going to help you. God wants us to be warriors for Him. We cannot do it alone, but with Him, we can be controlled. We can guard our own hearts.

If you don’t mind I would like to offer some advice. And I am pretty confident in this advice otherwise I wouldn’t share it. The key to self-control and self-mastery is patience. It’s a never-ending game. As The Dave Hensley put in a previous comment, we are going to falter, we are going to mess up and sin. My tongue will say hurtful things. DO NOT let these missteps keep you from moving forward. There is so much power in recognizing a fault, calling it what it is, and then making a correction. We cannot let them multiply or cast a negative light. See it, acknowledge it, correct it.

Prayer: God I know how important this message is to you. You want me to be the best I can be and sometimes I do not live up to that. You love me anyway. Help me to grow stronger from within. I pray that you would help me to see my faults and work to correct them. God, I want to be better. I pray that my spiritual growth is positively reflected in how I control my own words and actions. Lord lead my steps. Amen.

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