Getting Control Of Life
June 7, 2016

Rediscover the Bible for Life

“Getting Control Of Life”

By Dennis Lee

Do these questions sound familiar?

  • Why can’t I lose weight?
  • Why can’t I get out of debt?
  • Why can’t I get in shape?
  • Why can’t I break this bad habit?
  • Why can’t I consistently spend time with God?

The answer is to each one is found in our lack of self-control.

During his term as President, Lyndon Johnson was somewhat overweight. One day his wife challenged him saying, “You can’t run the country if you can’t run yourself.” Respecting her wise observation the President lost 23 pounds.

The virtue of self-control is one that we long for but have difficulty attaining. Unfortunately many don’t even try because they don’t want to say “no” to themselves. And while self-control is highly respected and greatly desired, it’s not easy. In fact it’s down right tough.

The problem is we’re controlled by the tyranny of the urgent rather than the Lord and good old common sense. Rather than wait until we can afford something, we pull out our credit card and buy it even when we don’t have the resources. Rather than wait for further instructions we far too often move forward in our own wisdom only to discover that plans change. Rather than wait on God to fulfill His promises, we decide the Lord needs a little help and so we take matters into our own hands and make a mess out of life.

This is what happened to Abraham and Sarah. They waited for God’s promise of a son, but when nothing happened they moved forward in their own understanding trying to help God fulfill His promise, rather than wait for God’s perfect timing. Sarah gave Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, to have a son through her. And Ishmael was born.

Soon afterwards Sarah got pregnant with Isaac. The end of this lack of self control and not trusting in the Lord a sibling rivalry was created that escalated into hatred and eventually war that continues on to this day.

Far to often we consider self-control as an enemy, or at least an unwanted guest. In reality, however, it is our friend because it enables us to be the best we can possibly be. Surveys have found that people who exercise self-control are far happier and healthier than those who don’t.

The Bible lists out some interesting endings to those without self-control.

  • Uncontrolled anger leads to punishment, cruelty, harsh words, and strife. (Job 5:2; Proverbs 27:4; Ephesians 4:31; Proverbs 28:22)
  • Uncontrolled lust makes a person prey to what they lust after. (Proverbs 6:26)
  • Uncontrolled spending destroys a person’s treasures. (Proverbs 21:20)
  • Uncontrolled drinking brings sorrows, contentions, complaints, and wounds. (Proverbs 23)
  • Uncontrolled ambition will dull and even cease a person’s ability to discern right from wrong, and eventually take away whatever has been gained. (Proverbs 23:4)
  • Uncontrolled eating is like putting a knife to your throat. (Proverbs 23:1-4)

This may be why the Lord has made self-control and patience part of the Fruit of the Spirit, two qualities that every Christian needs to live a healthy and productive life, Galatians 5:22.



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