Self-Control leads to Self-love and Success
Can you believe it’s mid-January already? I’m sure by now your resolutions and goals are firmly inscribed in your diary or journal, perhaps stuck on the fridge door or the bathroom mirror; and for good measure, also entered into your phone’s Notebook!
But here’s the glitch; however you choose to stay connected to your goals and no matter what you want to be successful at, without self-control, it can become an uphill battle literally from the get-go. And after a little while, with anxiety levels wreaking havoc with your emotions, quitting on your goals may seem like a reasonable solution for the present time.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Well, I have had many of those battles over the years, causing me to doubt myself, become angry with myself, and often I ended up feeling miserable and depressed.
I always knew that I was much more than that but I didn’t know how to change – not until I read Galatians 5: 22-23. Under sound teaching and guidance, I finally grasped the true value of the fruit of the Spirit and self-control.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Self-control is how we respond, rather than react to a situation. I think we can all agree that when we react, our emotions often get the better of us; we become defensive, argumentative, make excuses, and end up saying or doing things that can undermine our relationships and inner peace.
However, by allowing the fruit of self-control to guide our thoughts and reasoning, we can arrive at a deeper level of understanding. We avoid the temptation of giving in to a hasty reactive, emotional response that lacks patience, kindness, and love! By this I also mean self-love!
Have you noticed that the fruit starts with love and ends with self-control?
Joyce Meyer, in one of her teachings on developing self-control, makes this important observation. She calls it the ‘two bookends’ of the fruit of the Spirit.
It starts with Love - with all the other fruit flowing out of love – but they’re all being held in place by the final fruit of the Spirit, self-control, on the other end!
Does it start making sense and resonate with you?
How can you love others including yourself, be kind, humble, patient, have peace, without self-control? I realized that if self-control holds the other fruit in place, we won’t get far on our journey to reaching our goals and achieving success without self-control guiding our decisions and actions.
How then can we ever hope to fulfill the purpose and plans God has for our lives without self-control? Secondly, how do we develop this Spiritual fruit?
You’ll be relieved to know that the ‘Seed’ (Christ) is already inside of us. Because Jesus was without sin, He possessed every fruit of the Spirit. The ones He had to exercise regularly in fulfilling His purpose on earth, was self-control, patience, and love.
Now, if the Seed is already on the inside of us, then it makes sense that we need to nurture and water it regularly by meditating on the Word of God:
“For God gave us a spirit, not of fear but of power and love and self-control,”
We also need to keep the weeds (negative, emotional reactions), from suffocating it and ensure it gets enough sun (faith). It’s so exciting to know that by continuously exercising this disciplined approach, the Seed will grow and become visible in our own lives as well as in our relationships.
According to author, speaker, and Life Coach Jody Moore, self-control and self-discipline go hand in hand. Moving forward in exercising self-control will always require us to sacrifice some form of present comfort to attain future success.
To put it into perspective, it’s a matter of not giving in to the temptation of a hasty, emotional reaction, or giving up on a goal, or taking the easy way out of a present difficult situation. By enduring some discomfort now, your future self will thank and love you for having exercised the fruit of self-control and not giving up in the present time.
However, it’s going to take motivation and commitment to developing this all-important fruit of the Spirit. I believe we have a well-spring of talents and unknown strengths inside of us, according to Psalm 139:14;
“I praise you (Oh Lord) for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Most often we simply need to start and just do something despite our fears and anxieties in order to get unstuck. You may have to draw on a measure of self-discipline to move forward. Before you know it, motivation will slip in unexpectedly and urge you on, deepening your level of commitment towards reaching your goal.
Once you reach this stage of your journey, it will greatly increase your faith, expand and enrich your Godly character.
Self-control will ultimately guide you to the second most important commandment given by God; to love others as you love yourself.
Self-love forms the foundation of your relationship with God, your fellow men, and all your interactions with your immediate environment. Yet, many people, not understanding the gravity and depth of this second most important commandment, mistake self-love for narcissism and selfishness.
Self-love simply means pleasing God as you do things that are beneficial to your mental, physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing.
This beautiful quote by Joyce Meyer so succinctly sums up why self-love is crucial in finding and fulfilling your God-given destiny.
Have you wrestled with feelings of guilt and shame in the following situations?
¨ Guilt because you’ve felt exhausted and taken a day off just to relax and have a spa treatment?
¨ Perhaps you’ve been over-extended and said ‘no’ to doing yet another favor for a family member or best friend, but you ended up having feelings of regret, believing you could’ve fitted it in somehow?
¨ You beat yourself up for making the slightest mistakes during a heavy workload and experience overwhelming feelings of incompetence in the workplace and on the home front?
The sad part is that when you start believing that self-love and taking care of your overall wellbeing amounts to selfishness or narcissism, it affects sound, spirit-led decision-making, maintaining healthy relationships, and how others perceive and interact with you.
Some people will notice your lack of clear boundaries and try to take advantage of your ‘generous’ nature until you suffer burnout!
Self-love comes through practicing self-control which will guide you in setting boundaries to ensure you make time to fill the God-inspired well of love and compassion within yourself first!
You can only effectively give to others once you’ve learned to love and empower yourself with sufficient spiritual resources and the capacity to help others.
Have you been struggling with overwhelm and setting clear boundaries? You’ve been unable to say no while already overburdened, for fear that you’ll fall out of favor with people? Friend, it’s a sign that you need to become aware of your personal space and well-being and start to develop self-control that leads to self-love.
Give your future self the best gift and schedule a FREE 20-minute session for us to get to know one another. Who knows, perhaps this one session can be the beginning of an exciting, dynamic, new season in your life!
See you next week!
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