We’ve all experienced them—young and old alike— moments when frustration gets the better of us and we suddenly feel like we’re losing our minds. Temper tantrums. Yelling at that someone for cutting you off. Eating the entire jar of jellybeans. Fighting on the playground. Throwing a video game controller across the room.
This happened to my son a few weeks ago. He was playing on his device when all of the sudden I hear him yelling, “That’s SO delayed!” One of the buttons wasn’t working and rather than being able to propel his character across a ravine, the character was jumping to his death. He tossed the thing on the floor and stormed out of the room. Not good.
When the system doesn’t work, we can’t turn the power off. We can’t pause for a snack break. We can’t always stop before falling off a cliff. In short, sometimes we lose. My son not only lost control, but he faced a consequence and lost his gaming system for a while.
And really … that sounds a lot like life too. Self-control is important. That’s why we’re taking an entire month talking about it. We define self-control like this: choosing to do what you should do not what you want to do. And this month, we’ll learn that self-control really has more to do with God than self.
Throughout the Bible, God talks about a lot about self- control. As a fruit of the Spirit, self-control is a response to the changes that He is making in our lives. On our own, we are helpless to control anything, but with God’s power we have an advantage. We have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us and are able to do what we should do even when it’s not what we want to do.
The book of Proverbs includes several verses where God gives us wisdom to practice for those moments when we’d rather do anything but show self-control. Proverbs are not merely wise sayings. Rather, they are part of God’s story where He leans into the world that He created and whispers to us: “Here’s how you should live.” Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at self-control through God’s lens and explore four truths that Solomon captured in the book of proverbs.
As we learn to reflect the character of God and respond to His love for us, self-control is crucial. After all, how we live speaks volumes to our friends, family, and even strangers we meet every day. Our ability to show self-control in the heat of a moment could make or break someone’s view of God.
Let’s all learn together this month to pause, select the right words and actions, and most importantly tap into God’s power to show some self-control.