Purpose Driven Self-Control

Blog for April 22, 2019

Self-Control; I do the things I am supposed to do, even when I want to do something else.

Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Self-Control is a funny thing.  We all have it, but it is to what extent we choose to use it.  We choose not to slap someone in the face who criticizes our parenting choices, while at another time we may choose to exercise our self-control by walking past the dessert table at during a family gathering.  No matter what age, gender, upbringing or financial status, we all have self-control.  The question is: are you using your self-control in a way that brings you closer to your Heavenly Father?

For most, if not all, of God’s people, self-control is a struggle, and I feel like that is because of our mindset when using self-control.  For example, we just finished up Lent for 2019.  Many believers went forty days without something in order to prepare their hearts and minds for the death and resurrection of Christ.  Some gave up a particular treat, whereas some gave up sweets altogether.  Some fasted from social media, and some people kept their fasting private and personal.  Because this was done with the Lord in mind, Lent is often a very fruitful and blessed time for Christians.  Denying themselves something they love and enjoy sounds terrible, but they did it in order to seek the Lord more fully than before.  Their self-control was not pointless, but purposeful.

I believe that when we know the purpose for our self-control then we will do better at controlling ourselves.  If you ignore sugar in order to lose weight, many people often find times to enjoy them once a week (cheat meal!), or they abandon it altogether and over indulge in sweets.  That is because ultimately, our appearance is not the most important thing driving us.  Our purpose is not to be a cover model for a magazine cover.  But when we base our decisions on aiming to please our Heavenly Father, we take those decisions seriously and our commitment is higher.  If self-control is a struggle for you in particular areas, take some time to reflect on why that is.  When you identify the purpose and drive for your choices, you will stick to them more often than not.

Challenge:  Many times, when I teach Bible to our sweet Heritage children, I will talk about making God smile.  It may sound emotional or romantic, but I do believe that w can make God smile with our choices of words and actions.  After all, don’t we smile when we see our own child do something good?  Surely God smiles at us when He sees us understanding and growing it godliness.  I want to challenge you as parents the same way I challenge our beautiful students at Heritage Preschools.  Every day this week, before you act on whatever you are feeling like doing or saying, think about if it will be pleasing to your Heavenly Father.  If you see an opportunity to do something good that blesses someone else, do it!  If you see a coworker, friend, or family member hurting, offer them prayer and a listening ear.  Do you know someone struggling to make ends meet?  Buy them lunch and spend some time with them.  When we love others more than ourselves, we are not only using self-control, but we are also putting a smile on our Heavenly Father’s face!