Selfishness runs in our veins. Way back in the beginning, our first parents (Adam & Eve) had it made. Everything was great. Everything was centered around a healthy relationship with God and then…they went rogue. They made a decision that was self-centered instead of God-centered and that decision served mankind with a death sentence. Of course, God is merciful and loving and full of grace so He didn’t just wipe us out…but we are still suffering the consequences brought about by their original lack of self-control.
If we are “in” Jesus then He is able to work certain things “out” through our lives.
Good things. Not bad things.
NUMBER 8: SELF CONTROL
Self control is a hard thing to exercise. We have been trained from day 1 to pitch a hissy fit if we don’t like what we are experiencing. We cry when our diapers are full. We cry when we are hungry. We cry when we are sleepy. As we get older, we learn more sophisticated ways of expressing our lack of comfort and pleasure but we still do it. Ever seen those Snickers commercials about being Hangry? The message is, if you are grumpy, eat a snickers. If your are ticked off, eat a snickers. If you are sad, eat a snickers. The real message is, if you want something, do what you need to do to get what you want.
Jesus confronts this issue big time. He didn’t live self-centered and He doesn’t want us to live self-centered either. He endured a lot that He didn’t want to endure because He was focused on what God, His Father, had planned. He knew that if our Father had planned it then it was for the best; even if it was the total opposite of what felt good in the moment.
Self-Control takes faith and patience. Self-Contol takes being willing to say NO to your own desires.
Self-Control takes being willing to say YES to Jesus, no matter what He says to do.
Self-Control is trading a good thing I can experience NOW for a better thing I can experience LATER.
If you are going to live in a way that sees your life matching up with your faith you have to be totally open to the good things Jesus’ Spirit wants to produce in you. While self-control is one of the things He wants to produce…its also very necessary to experience any of the other things He has planned for your life.
Are you practicing self-control or self-gratification?
Are you making decisions that are God-centered or self-centered?
God, by your Spirit, work out in me the good things that only you can. Help me to have self-control. Help me to remember Jesus, His example, and His sacrifice. Strengthen me so that I can live a life focused on you and not me. I believing you to help me. I can’t do it on my own. In Jesus name, Amen.<< DAY 21DAY 23 >>