WHEN confronted with an extremely tempting situation, do you react with love? Remember, it is a moment of vulnerability and requires you to exercise self-control.
You can start today to intentionally choose how to react even in extreme circumstances -intentionally exercising self -control and starting to walk in freedom as you bear the fruit of holiness. The fruit of the Holy Spirit are a check and balance for our lives.
Lack of self-control is described as an inability to take charge, lacking balance, inability to flee temptation, not able to control oneself or having a powerless soul that can open you up to spiritual attacks.
According to the dictionary, self-control is the ability to master one’s behaviour in the face of an impulse, temptation or external pressure. It is a key fruit of the Holy spirit.
Self-control is important to a Christian because first it is a command from God. 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. Galatians 5:22-23.
2 Timothy 3 :1-5 has this to say about self-control. But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Self-control requires practice. Like any other thing for mastery, self-control requires us to exercise. “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. 2 Timothy 3:1-6.
It is a discipline. It teaches us not to live against God and not to do the bad things the world wants us to do. It teaches to live on earth now as in a wise and right way-a way that shows true devotion to God. Titus 2:12
From the scriptures above, we see that self -control is required to run and finish the Christian race of life successfully. There are spiritual consequences for lack of self-control. Remember Satan is looking for an entry point to the soul. He focuses on attacking the soul so that he may control the person’s body.
Four areas you need to bring under control are;
- Thoughts– let your thoughts not lead you to sin. Are the thoughts you are having now, the right thoughts, are you proud of them? If not, cast them down! Philippians 4:18. Brothers and sisters continue t think about what is good and worthy of praise, thin about what is true and honourable, and right and pure and beautiful and respected.
- Speech-the tongue has power of life and death, we need to exercise self control over it. Think before you speak. Proverbs 18:21.The tongue can speak words that bring life or death, those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings.
Ecclesiastes 5:2. Be careful when you make promises to God.Do not let your feelings cause you to speak too soon. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so you need to say only a few things to Him. This saying is true.
Proverbs 10:19. A person who talks too much gets into trouble, a wise person learns to be quiet, words from god people are like pure silver but thoughts from the wicked are worthless. Good people say things that help others but the wicked die from a lack of understanding.
James 3:6 .The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Is what you are saying true, is it helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind? We will be judged for all the empty words we speak. Ephesians 5: 4. “Also there must be no evil talk among you. Don’t say things that are foolish or filthy. These are not for you, but you should give thanks to God.
Mathew 12:36. I tell you that everyone will have to answer for all the careless things they have said. This will happen on the day of judgement.
- Emotions– How long you stay in an emotion will determine what action you will take and whether it is going to have the better of you or not. Colossians 3:8. But now put these things out of your life: Anger, losing your temper, doing or saying things that hurt others and saying shameful things.
Ephesians 4:26-27. When you are angry don’t let that anger make you sin and don’t stay angry whole day. Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you.
- Actions– The action you are going to take will determine whether the emotion is getting the better of you or not. Romans 12:17-18.If someone does you wrong don’t try to pay them back by hurting them. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone.
What happens when we lack Self-control?
The Bible says, “People who cannot control themselves are like cities without walls to protect them,” Proverbs 25:28. A wall has many purposes, but mainly it is for protection. Walls keep away enemies and even weather vagaries.
When you lack self-control in an area, what happens is that your wall of protection is breached. As Christians we have a wall of protection that can be broken by lack of self-control and when it breaks, Satan, our adversary, is able to send in demons that will begin to torment us. The answer to what happens when a wall breaks is found in Ecclesiastes 10:8. “Whoever digs a pit may fall into it: whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.”
A lot of people walk around with broken walls without the slightest idea that a snake is lurking in the shadows , looking for the reach so that it can bite them or rather, a roaring lion is on prowl “looking for whom he can devour.”
Who does the bible call a snake or serpent? It is Satan, the old serpent! He tirelessly goes around looking for a gap where the protective wall is broken so that he can bite and deposit poison (evil spirits) in the soul region or in the body. The poison being talked of here is the evil spirit that may enters to torment your life.
Lack of self-control in an area betrays the presence of evil spirits in a person’s life. It is a giveaway to the fact that in that area the Holy spirit is not in charge.
Struggling with self-control
If someone perhaps has tried to control their explosive anger through repentance, Bible reading, meditation and still cannot control it, then we are dealing with an evil spirit here. Click the link below to read a related article on anger. Unfortunately, evil spirits do not respond to Christian discipline, but casting out in the name of Jesus Christ.
We never hear Jesus telling a demonised person to go and read scriptures and live a holy life and the demons would leave!
There are many areas in which people are struggling with self -control. This list in by no means exhaustive but may include the following areas.
Alcoholism, Nicotine and drugs
In which area would you say you are lacking self-control and what are you doing about it?
The presence of an evil spirit in the life of someone who lacks self-control will be betrayed by the person disturbed thought emotions that persist or recur for example uncontrollable fear or rage. He or she will also have disturbances in the mind or thought life with feelings of excessive worry, restlessness, guilt and aggression.
Outbursts or uncontrolled use of the tongue is another sign of lack of self control; cursing, argument, bickering and quarrelling. Click the link below to read a related article:
If the person lacks control in sexual matters, he or she will have recurring unclean thoughts and acts regarding sex which may lead to fornication, pornography, masturbation and sexual fantasies, even daydreaming.
Addictions to nicotine, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, video games, even food and other forms of escapism and self- indulgences are all known and too common symptoms or coping habits born out of a lack of self-control.
Lack of self control is sin
When the wall of protection is breached, one is vulnerable to spiritual attacks, they become easily penetrable and the unpleasant habits begin manifesting in the physical.
Esau lacked control over his appetite and lost his birth right. Esau said: I am almost dead with hunger, so what good are these things to me now? But Jacob said : First promise me that you will give them to me. So Esau made an oath to him and sold his rights as the first born son to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil soup. Esau ate the food, had something to drink and then left. So Esau showed that he did not care about his rights as the firstborn son. Genesis 25 :32-34.
Samson lacked self-control in sexual matters and lost his calling to deliver the Israelites from the hand of the Philistines. Delilah got Samson to go to sleep with his head lying in her lap. Then she called in a man to shave off the seven braids of samson’s hair. In this way she made Samson weak, and his strength left him. Judges 16:19.
Lack of self-control is a sin. If the Bible tells us to have it, then lack of it is sinful. Escape from that trap like a deer running from a hunter, free yourself like bird flying from a trap. Proverbs 6:5.
To develop self-control in an area we must understand that the battle begins in the mind. You need to acknowledge how your thoughts play an important role in building your character. “As a man thinketh so is he…” Proverbs 23:7. It is important to understand how thoughts become things as they give birth to emotions, and, how these emotions form habits which if carried out repeatedly, eventually become our character and our lifestyle.
You are tempted by evil things you want; your own desire leads you away and traps you. Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin, then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death. James 1:14-15. God desires that we bear the fruit of self-control.
Other areas that require self-control
Other areas that need your self-control is in the area of financial discipline. We should live within our means and be content with what we have. Another area, according to nutritionists is physical discipline- avoid excessive eating and too much meat if you do not exercise to build your immunity and speed up physical healing. Also avoid excessive partying.
You are vulnerable when fatigued and tired, and may lose self-control at such moments. But thank God that He has provided a way out through His in-filling word and His grace and mercies through His son Jesus Christ to help you with self control. He says, Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burdens that you have been forced to carry, I will give you rest. Accept my teaching, learn from me, I am gentle and humble in spirit and you will be able to get some rest. Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light. Mathew 11:28-30.
Thank God for giving you self-control and ask the holy Spirit to manifest Himself through self-control more powerfully than ever before. Accept that you already have self-control. Philippians 2:13.Yes, it is God who is working in you, He helps you want to do what pleases him and gives you the power to do it.
You may also want to have an accountability partner to rebuke you in instances where you display lack of self-control. If you tripped, repent, ask God for forgiveness get up and walk again!