A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28 ESV
Does it feel like life is out of control? We turn on the news and it seems we see one bad or sad story after another. Closer to home, we make plans and a child’s sickness changes them. Day after day I’m reminded I’m not in control. Can you say the same?
In the midst of COVID-19, I found myself feeling this way quite often. These thoughts went beyond the everyday frustration they previously created; now they led to fear and doubt. As I took those thoughts captive, I remembered God is in control. This virus didn’t surprise Him and it doesn’t scare Him. It hasn’t stopped Him either – He is still on the throne and at work.
One of the places He wants to work is in your heart and mind. In the midst of my battle for control, He sovereignly led me to Proverbs 25:28. We read – “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
Friend, God is ultimately in control, but He has given each of us important power. When the world around us seems to be falling apart and there’s nothing we can do about it, we can have some control. It’s called self-control. This control is important and can be a difference maker. It may not cure a virus, but it will impact our heart. When we don’t exercise self-control, we are vulnerable. Satan would love for us to let our guard down so he can attack. To counter that, let’s practice self-control today!
A few specific areas to start with –
Our Thoughts – Our pastor likes to say, “The mind is God’s classroom, a Christian’s battleground and Satan’s playground.” Clearly, what we think is important. And it is something we can control. We must heed the words of 2 Corinthians 10:5 – “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…”
Our Tongue – Friend, have you ever been impacted by the words of another? Me too! Sometimes for the good and others for the not so good. Words have power. The things we say and how we say it make a big difference especially in moments when things seem out of control, so we must practice self-control over our tongue. In our world it’s vital to live out Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Our Time – When we are worried or fearful, it’s easy and tempting to waste our time. Our focus can be on what is out of our control. We’re consumed with the news or worries of the future when we should be making the most of our time. Ephesians 5:15-16 provides some wisdom – “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Friend, whatever today holds may we remember God is in control and He will equip us to practice self-control!
How can you practice self-control today? Which of the areas seems to be hardest for you to control?
Dear Heavenly Father, help me always remember that You are in control. You are good and You have a good plan. Lord, equip me to practice self-control. Help me take my thoughts captive, use my words to encourage others and glorify You and make the most of my time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.