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Control Yourself

When we get stressed, there is something in us that tries to start taking control of everything. Our brains don’t like chaos. When those times arise, our need to try to control everything around us kicks in to try to bring order. Some of us feel that need all the time. We want to have as much control of the things around us as possible. The problem with both is that it gives a false sense of security. I used to have a boss that would say, “Control the controllables.” They we’re talking about external things, but what I’ve realized is that the main thing I need to learn to control is my self.

The fruit of the Spirit in your life is not control. It’s self control, yet somehow we try to pervert that into trying to control everything but ourselves in order to control ourselves. There will always be chaos around us. There will always be things out of order. We can’t control those things. We can only control how we react. The Holy Spirit living in us helps us to have self control in those situations. It’s not just about saying no to temptation. It’s about how I react to the affects of sin around me. Instead of trying to control everything else around us to give us peace, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to take over and to produce the fruit of self control in your life.

Here are some Bible verses on self control.

1. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

2. For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 GNT

3. For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:5-8 AMP

4. A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.

Proverbs 25:28 MSG

5. A [shortsighted] fool always loses his temper and displays his anger, But a wise man [uses self-control and] holds it back.

Proverbs 29:11 AMP

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

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Out Of Control

I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a control freak. I love being in control of what’s happening in my life, where I’m going and how things are going to happen. I like to think through every possible scenario before any situation so that I’m prepared for whatever happens. I don’t like it when other people are in control of my situation. There are too many variables. I don’t like it when I don’t know what’s coming next or how to prepare. It can be overwhelming when I’m not in control of my destiny or immediate future.

Brian Tracy, a sales minded motivational speaker, teaches that we feel good about ourselves to the degree to which we are in control of our lives. When we have everything under control, we feel great. When our lives are spinning out of control, we feel horrible. Each one of us have something different that we associate with control. For some, it’s money. When we have it, we feel freedom and in control. When we don’t, we feel helpless and out of control. We tie our self worth to control.

That’s not how God wants us to love though. I’d like to change it up a bit. I think as Christians we feel good about ourselves to the degree to which we allow God to have control in our lives. Each of us choose how much we trust God and how much control He has in our lives. Some of us only trust Him with our problems. Our prayers only go up when life comes down on us. Some of us trust Him with our money. We can’t take it with us so we might as well invest as much as we can in His kingdom so He can multiply it. Some of us trust Him with our whole lives. We look at everything that happens as an opportunity to grow.

When we trust in money, relationships, our parenting skills, our possessions or anything other than God, we are putting ourselves on an emotional roller coaster. We are putting our happiness in things that we can’t control. When we have money, others pay attention to us, the kids are behaving or we have lots of things, we feel great. But when our bank account is empty, others take us for granted, the kids won’t listen and we don’t have much, life gets pretty overwhelming. We feel about an inch tall and our lives seem out of control.

Don’t put your hope, happiness and self esteem in the hands of anyone but God. Ultimately, He’s the one who is in control in a chaotic world. He’s got a plan for your life if you’ll just give Him control to enact it. Your self worth shouldn’t be tied to your bank account, how others treat you, how your kids treat you, how productive you feel or what you have. Your self worth comes from God and when He looks at you, He doesn’t see a mess. He sees His child whom He loves. He sees His precious creation whom He designed to need Him and not to do things on their own.

He wants you to know that He’ll take care of whatever is eating at you today if you’ll just give it to Him. Whatever you’re holding onto today, so that you can feel in control, is what’s making you feel the way you do. The more you give control of your life to God, the better you will feel about your self and your situation. I Peter 5:7 says, “Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns) once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” God sees how you’ve allowed other things to control how you feel about yourself and wants you to give control to Him. You’ll feel better about yourself, your situation and your life.

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