“Let your life be a stepping stone to Christ and not a stumbling block.” 1 Cor. 8:13 & 10:31

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven." Matt. 5:16

Self-Control Is Spirit Control

By Rick Warren

For the grace of God…teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives”

(Titus 2:11-12 NIV).

Here are some other steps to self-control.

Talk back to your feelings. Do you let your moods manipulate you? God doesn’t want you to be controlled by your feelings. He wants you to master your moods. With Christ as the Master of your life, you can learn to master your feelings.  Learn to challenge your emotions: “For the grace of God…teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives…” (Titus 2:11-12 NIV).

God’s grace gives us the power to do what is right.  Believe you can change. The fruit of the Spirit begins in your thought life. The seeds must be planted in your mind: The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act. God gave us the power to change our habits when he gave us the power to choose our thoughts. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

When your self-control is being tested, you need to fill your mind with the promises of God. First Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (NIV).

If you are a Christian, you can’t honestly say, “The temptation was too strong; I couldn’t help myself.” The secret of self-control is Christ’s control. As you face temptations that are too strong for you, remember He is in you and provides the power to change your life!

But there are two things you must still do to develop self-control:
Avoid temptation. It is just pure common sense: Don’t put yourself in situations where you’ll face temptation. If you struggle with alcohol, don’t go into a bar. If you’re struggling to lose weight, don’t load the refrigerator with ice cream. Do whatever you must to avoid temptation.

Make yourself accountable. Find someone who will check up on you, pray for you, and encourage you in the areas where you want to develop more self-control. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (NIV). If you’re serious about self-control, find another believer you trust and say, “I have this problem. I’ve confessed it to God. I’ve asked forgiveness, and now I want to ask you to help me. Will you be my ‘buddy,’ a person I can call on the phone when I need support and encouragement?”

Having someone hold you accountable is tough, but it works, as you encourage each other in the Lord. Christ never asks you to bear something that is bigger than the strength He puts inside of you through his Holy Spirit.

Rick Warren is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century.