Updated: Apr 25, 2019
Some time ago I heard someone said: "Your body is the reflection of your decisions." I have to accept that this phrase hit me hard. It suddenly became clear to me that I have not been making very good decisions lately and as a result of my bad decisions my body has been affected.
Beyond a popular saying, the Holy Spirit impacted my life that day by reminding me of 2 Timothy 1.7: "Because God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, love and self-control." Then I thought: "A Spirit of self-control! Without a doubt, self-control is important for God, it is actually at the same level as power and love." God wants us to practice self-control in our christian life, and not to live unrestrainedly and without order.
First, what is self-control and how can we put it into practice? The Greek word used here is "sophronismos" which means moderation, self-control, personal discipline. I gave myself the task of looking for some definitions on the Internet and I'd like to share my favorites:
"Self-discipline is doing what you should do,
when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. "
-Elbert Hubbard (made famous by Brian Tracy)
"Discipline is to remember what you want."
"Discipline is making effective decisions in the short term, based on long-term consequences."
Someone wrote that self-control (or personal discipline) is the ability that allows us to control our emotions, our impulses and our behaviors, allowing us to reach our goals and objectives. To have self-control is to decide wisely in the small crossroads of daily life. It's choosing a soft word rather than a rough answer, rejecting dessert while eating a fruit, investing fifteen minutes in a good book instead of reading thru every Facebook feed, going to bed early versus skipping sleep to watch Netflix, set aside the time to pray every day instead of completing the last point on the list, or get even waking up an hour earlier to go exercising.
Without a doubt self-control is a very difficult skill to develop! That is why we need the intervention of the Holy Spirit at this point. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is a specialist in this area, and that he really wants to bring order into my life. I do not have to fall prey of the vicious circle of bad decisions and worse consequences; I just need to ask him to fill me up and help me put all aspects of my life under his control in order to experience the freedom of discipline ... Well, that is for the next time!
Now it's your turn! Since you know what it is, tell me: In what aspect of your life do you need the Spirit of self-control? What are you going to do about it?