Get A Hold Of Yourself!

Get a hold of yourself: Get a grip. Cool your jets. Stay calm. When we think about self-control it is most often about our efforts to hold back anger, or resist temptation.

But is self control a gift or an informed decision? Are we really able to control our reactions, or do we need help? We’d like to think that we are the ones in control, but if you take a look around and are completely honest about it, we are anything but in control.

People do not necessarily look to God for guidance, relying on their own strength. But the Bible is filled with wisdom and God’s Holy Spirit is ready, willing and able to help us do what we are incapable of doing alone.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. With the Holy Spirit inside of us, we are able to possess self-control and demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. As a result, we can live in a way that is honorable to God (2 Timothy 1:7)

God is our self control

These two verses suggest that God is our self-control, and would put our efforts in the back seat. On the one hand, we are expected to have self-control, but on the other, we are incapable of it. We want to go to heaven when we die, but we cannot earn out way there. It’s a gift. Self-control is a gift.

Gifts of the Spirit are freely given, as in Galatians 5, but in order to take advantage of their obvious benefits we need to exercise them. We are encouraged to put them into motion by reaching out to others to share the love of God. Moreover, God knows that our self-control will be put to the test.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Get A Hold Of Yourself: Self control is a journey

Peter reinforces that by adding “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

Peter also warns us to be aware of the temptations and attacks by the enemy.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter: 8-9)

Self-control is more than just resisting. We need to acknowledge that we are in this world and subject to the forces of this world.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:16)

God will guide us

Our self-control is so very limited, but God can guide us through all situations. We can build ourselves up by reading His word and allowing Him to come into our hearts. We are in the fight, but it really isn’t our fight to win, it’s God’s fight to win. Just stay out of the way. Is that self-control? No, it’s God control.