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Self-Control and Self-Discipline In Light Of The Bible


white gold cross necklace with hidden baleI had a bit of a revelation recently. I was talking to one of my best friends about certain things in my life that I wanted to and needed to change, such as diet and exercise, and it all came down to two things: changing your mindset to setting goals about what you want to achieve, and having the self-control or self-discipline in order to follow through with those goals to establish the desired outcome. We cannot just expect certain things to pan out without putting in the work towards it. As such, we need to work on changing our mindset, and learning how to control and discipline ourselves, in light of what The Word says.

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Ultimately, as Christians, we are to take up our cross and follow Jesus daily (Luke 9:23). We let God guide us to do His Will and not our own. But, when we have certain things that we need to do or to change, it still requires that self-control or self-discipline. God isn’t going to do all of the hard work for us. He will lead us to the door, but we have to open it.

In light of all of this, what does the Bible tell us about self-control and self-discipline?

Here are 5 Bible verses that emphasize the importance of self-control and self-discipline:

* Featured Left: 14K White Gold Cross Necklace with Hidden Bale.

  1. Proverbs 25:28 – He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls.

In Proverbs 25:28, this scripture emphasizes that if we do not have self-control over our spirit, our temper, our words, our actions, everything about us that needs to have the correction an discipline, is similar to that of a city that is broken, and has no walls, no boundaries. The Bible tells us to be slow to anger (wrath) (James 1:19), and to not be angry when the sun goes down (Ephesians 4:26). God did not give us a spirit of fear, or anger, but rather a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). As such, we have to learn how to take control of our thoughts, behaviours, and emotions, before it destroys us.

  1. Proverbs 15:32 – He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding

Simply put, Proverbs 15:32 tells us that if we refuse to accept instruction, or discipline from others, then we do not love ourselves; we hate our own selves. If we want to change, then it is because we want to learn to love and accept ourselves and to do better by God. As such, when we hear reproof, receive rebuke and correction, we want to let that influence us and guide us to change, to do better, and to learn and understand.

  1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

holy warrior cross pendant 14k gold* Featured right: Holy Warrior Cross Pendant in 14K Gold from Apples of Gold Jewelry.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it mentions that all scripture is given to us by inspiration of God, which will correct us and give us reproof in order to perfect ourselves as children of God and to do good works. When we want to learn and to do better, we seek to find answers in the scriptures. When we want to get closer to God and understanding His purpose for us, we seek to find answers in the scriptures. When we want to learn self-discipline and self-control in our spirit, in our flesh, we seek to find answers in the scriptures. As such, God has ordained for us the perfect tool, the perfect weapon, The Bible, to allow us to receive rebuke, correction and guidance to do His Will, to be better examples of the light of Christ unto others, and to do good works.

  1. Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

In the fruit of the spirit, it has temperance: control. When we are living in the flesh, with the worldly temptations that surround us, we have to break away from the influences and desires of the world, and be led in the spirit, by the Holy Spirit, rather than struggle in the flesh. Once we are able to strengthen our relationship with God and our faith and love for Him, He will be able to transform us into who He wants us to be. We are to be kind, loving, patience and faithful. These fruits of the spirit are the desired outcome that all Christians should strive towards and embrace, with the Holy Spirit as our mentor. Self-control is a huge factor in all of this as we must learn to follow The Word and not the world, and aspire to become more like Jesus, who is gentle, peaceful and loving. He showed us the strongest amount of temperance, as He did not sin, despite the temptations that surrounded Him, moreso from the devil himself who tried to get to Jesus. But He did not allow it. We must do the same. We must not let the devil get to us, and work towards better self-control and discipline in our thoughts, emotions, and actions.crown of thorns gold cross pendant

  1. 2 Peter 1:5-7 – And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

* Featured Left is the Crown of Thorns 14K Gold Cross Pendant, from online Christian jeweler, Apples of Gold. I love this scripture because it gives us an illustration of how we are to be. We are faithful unto God, and as such we are then to add on to our faith, virtue. Once we add virtue to our faith, we then add knowledge, knowledge of the The Word of God, and His purpose for us. We study the scriptures to show ourselves approved as previously mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This allows us to receive correction and rebuke. Therefore, temperance, or self-control is added to knowledge, which is then followed by patience, and godliness. When we have self-control, we become less bitter or hostile, slower to anger, and more calm, and patient. Patience is a virtue in of itself when it comes to self-discipline and self-control. But when add it to our faith, and to our knowledge, we become stronger and more Godly as Christians. Once we become stronger, and more patient and disciplined, we can embrace and strengthen our love (charity) and kindness towards our brethren, towards our neighbors. This scripture in 2 Peter 1 gives us the perfect reflection upon the ideal development of our faith in God leading us to be filled with love (charity).

Self-control and self-discipline is a long term goal for all of us as Christians. It requires consistency, dedication and determination in all aspects of our lives. When we keep our focus on the things above, and not of this world, letting the Holy Spirit guide us and change us from the inside out, we will be able to overcome what we once were to who God wants us to be, filled with the fruits of the spirit.

Hope this encourages you all.

God Bless.

 

 

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