“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Whether it manifests itself with angry outbursts, eating binges, crippling fear, or sexual indiscretion, most people wrestle with self-control. Over time, you may have grown to accept these behaviors as part of who you are. But in reality, they don’t define who you are in Christ. You may be at the point where I recently found myself: admitting that I haven’t depended on Christ for victory over the lack of self-control that had characterized my life.
This admittance proved to be a pivotal point in my plight. I began to memorize Scripture that targeted my greatest struggle with self-control: my thought life. A key verse for me was 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
At first, you may struggle as I did with believing it’s possible to break the established thought patterns you’ve allowed to consume your thinking. If so, you may want to devote time to fasting and prayer to intensify your ability to concentrate on the Scriptures targeting your area of lack of self-control.
Repeatedly, I’d pray, “Father, I believe You will set me free from these tormenting thoughts and enable me to live life as if I am!” Eventually, personalizing the truth of Scripture enabled me be victorious over the lack of self-control that had plagued me. And it can be the same with you.
Father, help us to daily apply the truth of Scripture describing Christ as being able to meet all our needs, even the need to live and delight in a self-controlled life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This week, whenever you have a tempting thought that leads to a lack of self-control, remember the list provided in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —think about such things.”