Strong spirits: successful self-control

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Photo: Jean Beaufort

Can you control your temper? Your tongue? Your attitudes? Your cravings? Yeah, I know! It's tough! And it is relentless. Every day the struggle shows up in one form or another.

The only way I can successfully control myself, is to submit myself to Someone who knows my struggles, knows what is best for me, and has the power to help. God gives me the strength, the stamina, and the perseverance. He gives me the calm and the peace that I need to maintain self-control. But certainly, I have a role in this. It starts with submission, and then continues in obedience...

The Bible is honest about the struggle, and clear about what to do... 

"Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check." the apostle James (James 3:2)

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness, and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control..." the apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:5,6)

"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" the apostle Paul (Romans 7:21,24,25)

Self-control can be mine when I give myself to Christ, and do what he says. He alone has the knowledge, the love, and the power. How's your self control?


Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life.

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