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The Blessing of Self Discipline

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Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Proverbs 25:28

Have you ever said or done something without self control and later regretted the consequences? I think we all have, but a problem exists if the behavior continually reoccurs when triggered by displeasing words or by a displeasing event. Lack of self control can cause us trouble, especially when it involves others. I have seen lack of self control cause the following: incarceration, broken marriages, broken families, losing friends, and losing jobs. Life is much more pleasant when we are in control of ourselves and walk with Godly wisdom. The less self control we have, the more we are a slave to the world.

How do we gain self discipline after being controlled by our emotions for many years, or maybe since childhood? First, we have to believe that God can change us. If we don’t think we can change then we have already given up in defeat and Satan is capturing our soul. However, if we have a fighting spirit, God will change us and exchange our emotional rages into Godly wisdom. Godly wisdom with a heart of love always triumphs over an emotional outburst. Nobody wants to be around a person with an emotionally explosive personality.

God changes us through his power that comes to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit brings God’s love to us and the remaining fruit is how we show that love. If we read the Word and learn the language of God, we will be convicted by the Holy Spirit when our thoughts, words, or actions deviate from God’s will.

In order to gain control we need to capture our runaway emotions and escape the need to go into a rage. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19) To overcome our need to respond out of our emotion, we can keep quiet, pray, exercise, go for a walk, anything to that will counter the emotional reaction. You may feel like a volcano ready to explode, but eventually that desire will weaken and you can gain control. Keep practicing this technique because it takes time to overcome a lifelong habit.

Pray for God’s help, pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit, read the Word, and fellowship with other Christians. If you continue doing these things with a determination to overcome, you will be victorious, and you will start to get control over your emotions because the emotion of anger becomes less powerful. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

Today, walk knowing that you will be in control through the power of the Holy Spirit and refuse to be slave to the world. Seek to walk with love, peace, and joy, and be thankful. The more thankful we are the more content we are. How you live this day is your choice, a slave to the world or free in Christ, driven by emotions or driven by Godly wisdom.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be in control of my emotions today. Fill my heart with your love, peace, and joy, and take away any thoughts of anger or fear. Let my words today be uplifting, caring, and reflect your love. And keep me from being self-centered in my thoughts. In Jesus name, Amen.