Heavenly Father, we want to be patient people with self-control. We know we cannot do that without your help. We know we must live out our faith in your son, Jesus and focus on His love. Father, we pray, today, you will give us the perseverance, courage, strength and power to walk in your direction when the world around us is walking in so many different ways. Give us patience and self-control over those areas of our lives that challenge us to react instead of quieting ourselves to the virtues only you can bless us with, those of the fruits of your Holy Spirit. Help us father, arm us like warriors who are able to control our temperaments and actions to bring you honor. Amen.
Having self-control is not only a virtue we receive from Christ as His followers when we walk in His way, it is also a virtue that takes practice and work on our part. God gives us situations in which we can practice self-control on a daily basis.
However, before we can even begin to practice self-discipline, with God’s help of course, we have to be able to recognize what is tempting us. We all have those people who annoy us, and we for sure , we need to pray for patience when we know we are going to be blessed with their presence. And if our eyes and hearts are open when we are around these people, we just might find we learn a little something from them.
I am thinking here more along the lines of those areas in our lives we might need to rethink; where we could possibly have a problem that could lead to some serious consequences down the road.
For some it might be drinking too much, or over eating. For others it could be retail therapy, or gambling. It might not be an addiction of sorts at all, it could be needing to work on the language we use because every other word out of our mouths mimics a sailor. (No offense to the Sailors out there, it’s just an expression). For some of us it is screaming at our children and spouses instead of pausing and speaking kindly, which for some leads to physical violence.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 reminds us “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” We must be mindful to move forward with self-control.
Moving forward means acceptance. We can recognize the areas in our lives where we need to practice self-control, but we must also accept the fact that we are going to make some real life changes. Now, we can’t stop eating, not healthy for our bodies and we can’t stop shopping, because we do need to buy appropriate clothes for work, school and other life occasions. However, we can do these things in moderation, by buying healthy food options and only spending within our allowed budgets. Some of us will even be able to drink and gamble in moderation. Others of us, on the other hand, will have to accept that there are some things in this world that are absolutely not meant for us, they are not ours to have; ever. This sounds difficult to some ears, but it is the absolute truth. I know, I have had to accept that the cute little colorful drinks with umbrellas are not made for me. Recognizing and accepting this fact has brought me more joy today than I could ever imagine.
All of this, being mindful to move forward with self-control, recognizing and accepting the issue can’t be done alone.
God’s word tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And 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 endure it.”
My friend, Jesus is the way out. Turn to Him. He will give us all the strength, courage, hope, and faith we need to recognize and accept when we need to arm ourselves with self-control in any and all circumstances.