The struggle with self-control is real once the Christmas programs and parties start happening. My struggle is with eating too much chocolate as I make cookies. Maybe yours is with overeating, overspending, that extra Netflix or too much time on Facebook.
Oh my, but the struggle is real!
So many health issues can result from eating too much food or chocolate but that is not really what this is about.
I was baking those yummy oatmeal kiss cookies for our church Christmas program the other day. After indulging in what seemed like half the Hershey Kisses in the bag, I could feel the surge of sugar throughout my body.
Chocolate tastes so wonderful while you are eating it. The sugar and caffeine make it irresistible as you reach for yet another and another. It isn’t until later when your blood sugar drops that it doesn’t feel so great.
Overindulgence in any area is like that.
Self-control is the polar opposite of indulgence!
I really want to beat my struggle for self-control this Christmas and maybe you are struggling too?
Self-Control is the Power of Christ
It sounds so easy.
I’ve never thought deeply about self-control until I realized how much my struggle with chocolate has to do with controlling myself.
I only saw it as a simple part of the list of nine attributes for the fruit of the spirit in Galatians.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. ( Galatians 5:22-23)
Of course, I have self-control, right?
I never really gave it another thought. Did you?
Whoever would think that it has to do with reaching for yet another chocolate? Not that there is anything wrong with chocolate, it is just that overindulgence of any kind will tell you a lot about yourself.
The thing is that on your own, you cannot learn self-control. It is the power of Christ and Christ alone that will give you the strength to change.
Easier Said than Done
Self-control is easy so long as what you struggle with most is NOT present.
I don’t buy chocolate for the rest of the year.
What isn’t in my home is NOT going to tempt me.
It is hard to control the beast of your sinful passions. You may not struggle with alcohol or sexual desires run out-of-control but it may show up in the little things.
How to Beat Your Struggle with Self-Control
Like I said, it can be nearly impossible to beat your struggle with self-control. Just when I think I have it covered, it is back when the bag of chocolates enters my house!
But . . .
Here are some ways that you can fight hard against it (in the Spirit of Christ).
- It is with Christ’s power and His love.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (I Timothy 1:7)
2. Be serious and watchful in praying. I always forget to pray when I am tempted with chocolate (gasp!)
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)
3. Persevere in Christ
. . . to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, (2 Peter 1:6)
Ruling Over Your Spirit
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)
Christmas is a time of the year when your (or my) lack of self-control becomes evident. There are so many ways that you are tempted and given the opportunity to beat the struggle.
It is real. So real!
When I reached for that umteenth-millionth piece of chocolate, did I seek the help of Jesus by crying out to Him?
The strength to resist is not to be found inside of either one of us. It is ultimately in Christ.
Without self-control of over your choices this Christmas (whatever they are), you are like a city that has your wall of protection broken down.
As the remaining days until Christmas pass, go forward with Christ filling you with His spirit in every choice you make.
Whether it is having self-control over chocolate, cookies, overeating, overspending, or whatever other areas you find most challenging, seek the strength found in Jesus.
“True self-control is not about bringing our selves under our own control, but under the power of Christ.” David Mathis
Embrace Christ’s love and that He is sovereign over your life. There is nothing that can happen to you outside of His control.
Rest in the knowledge that there is nothing you can do to come up with your own strength over your greatest struggle.
Give yourself grace in your struggle and start over, again and again, each time you fail.
It is in Jesus that we have self-control and not in ourselves!
What can you add to what I have shared? There is no way that I have covered every aspect of self-control and how you may struggle with it.