(Photo credit: Max Wolfe)
Last week was the start of my countdown – 100 days until 40. If you remember I decided to focus each week on different characters and habits I would like to bring with me into my next decade. I also wanted to focus on being more aware and awake as often I get to the end of the week and wonder where the days have gone. So I thought a great character to focus on for the first week was self-control.
So this past week I tried to focus and exercise self-control – in my actions, my thoughts, my reactions. It was really interesting to have this as my focus and I learnt a few things about myself. My self-control is great -I’m really really good at it……
I wish I could end that sentence there, but I am really good at self-control as long as everything is under my control! As soon as curve balls and the unexpected comes my self-control goes to pot! So basically I’m really great at self-control if I lived in a bubble – not so practical.
One verse that I kept coming back to in the week that kept reminding me how important self-control is was:
Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.
It at first sounds like a strange thing to say, but when we lack self-control you actually leave yourself vulnerable for attack – attack of shame, guilt etc. But also you leave yourself vulnerable for subtle attacks – for example if you lack self-control it affects your self-worth. That means that in your low self- esteem you are more vulnerable to be taken in by false flattery or the schmoozing of Satan. What do I mean? Without the defenses that self-control builds in your life you open up a vulnerability for Satan’s temptations – do it because you are worth it, or do it because you have already messed up so you may as well keep going.
This may not be new for you, but it was a bit of revelation for me last week – I tend to isolate self-control as a wonderful attribute I would like to have. But it is actually a critical resource in protecting my life from temptation, Satan and further mess ups.
So as I carry on in my 100 days and shift my focus to other characteristics and habits I want to carry with me the need for self-control and rely on the Holy Spirit to help develop it with in me. For I know when self-control is reliant on my own resources it goes pear shape the first sign of trouble – so I will rather rely on the One who has ultimate control.