Things I Wish I Knew About Self-Discipline
The Root of Self Discipline
I feel at the root of most of our struggles and our sin comes from the lack of self-discipline. The struggle to quit smoking, drugs, eating food you know is bad for you, or any other harmful habits likely can circle back to lack of self-discipline. We in our flesh desire sin and face temptation. Even if something is good, too much of it is can be harmful and become an idol over God in your life if you aren’t mindful.
You Can Change
Today I see many individuals that live with little to no self-discipline in their lives and either don’t want to or don’t know how to practice self-control. I myself struggle with self-discipline and bad habits. I feel we all have at some point in our lives, and sadly some do all of their lives. The worst thing you can do is accept something you know is bad for you and proclaim you can’t quit or change. If you do, you will never have true peace and get to experience the fruits of the spirit.
Are the Fruits of the Spirit Evident in Your Life?
When we are saved and accept the Holy Spirit we are given the spirit of love, a sound mind, and self-discipline. This doesn’t mean you won’t have weak moments and give into sin at times. But, it means you cannot continue living in habitual sin, giving into those habits over and over if you are truly born again. A preacher speaks on self-discipline and has a great question for self-reflection and evaluation. He asks, “Are the fruits of the spirit evident in your life”?
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
There’s No Sin You Cannot Give Up
When you evaluate your life, are fruits of the Spirit evident? Do you have peace, love, and self-discipline to name a few? Or are you in a constant tug of war within your heart and mind? He goes on to say, there is nothing in your life in sin that you cannot give up. You often hear people say well, I can’t stop. And you alone can’t, but surrender and give your life to God and then you can!
Who Are You Living to Please?
Jesus knew the temptations and struggles of Earth. This is why he blesses us with the Holy Spirit to be the strength when our flesh cannot. I’m going to touch on a few more great highlights of this sermon as they ring true and should be discussed more often. Our world is rampant with those living to please their own sinful desires. Who are you living to please? Maybe it’s yourself, or your spouse, your boss at work, or your family? Is God even on your list some days?
Fine Tune Your Life
If God’s not, get to fine-tuning your life today. All Earthly things will pass away with you, but God is eternal, and if you accept his gift to us, which was giving his only son Jesus Christ to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, you too will have eternal life in paradise.
It is dangerous to hear the word of God and knowingly disobey Him. God loves you too much to allow you to get away with sin.
You Reap What You Sow
So whether now or later, you will reap the consequences of sin. The old saying you reap what you sow is true, and you will reap a harvest of what you’ve sown. Whether you believe the Bible and God or not, it is truth and will still affect you. Just because you don’t believe it doesn’t mean you won’t be affected.
Battle For Self Control
This preacher refers to it as a battle for self-control, and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a battle that cannot be won on your own or you would have beaten it by now. Whether it’s drugs, drinking, gambling, gossip, laziness or just being completely out of control, you are a slave. Don’t be that person who dies a slave and never gets to experience the freedom of Christ. Are you under the control of God or sin?
Think Before You Act
The Bible says those practicing this lifestyle of sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. To be practicing them is to be actively and continually committing these sins. Not that if you have done these and been set free through Jesus that you won’t inherit the kingdom. We have to be mindful. Avoid impulse and think before you act or speak.
Think of the Consequences
Truly think of the consequences of what you say or do and how it will you affect you and your relationship with God. What the outcomes could be in your life. What areas in your life do you need more self-discipline? Maybe it’s your finances. Do you spend frivolously and aren’t tithing like you should? People think of sin and often think of the worst, but it can be any sin that trips you up.
Judge Yourself on God’s Law
Many falsely believe just because they’ve never murdered anyone and feel they are a good person will inherit the kingdom. Those are false converts and self-righteous. People with that thought pattern are most dangerous because they don’t think they need to change or need saving when they need it most. You cannot judge yourself or others based on man’s law. Put yourself to the test and judge yourself on God’s moral law because His laws are the ones that will determine your eternity.
What Would People Say About You?
Do you know those people who you know are inherently good Christian people? And if you speak of them to others you speak highly and may say things such as they would never be at a bar or put themselves in an immoral situation. In those people, the fruits of the spirit are evident in their lives. Ask yourself what would people say about you? Would they look at a bar and say this is a place I could see so and so at for example.
“It is finished.”
If so, then the fruits of the spirit are not evident in your life. Sometimes it helps to think of yourself from someone else’s perspective. How do others see you? What things or habits do you portray to others that you know aren’t Godly? The great news is you don’t have to stay there. Whatever it is you are facing, it has already been defeated. That is why on the cross Christ said it is finished.
“ When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Take a Step Towards Being Self-Disciplined
He has conquered all sin and death and through Him and with the Holy Spirit you can too. No matter how long it takes don’t give up. You may have slip-ups or relapses but the Bible says to draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. It could be as simple as reading a passage every day and setting aside a few times a day just to pray. This is a step toward being disciplined.
Self-Control Takes Practice
Seek Him and the rest will follow. Self-control and self-discipline take practice. It’s not going to come overnight, but you can take it day by day or hour by hour to get there. In recovery, it’s all about taking that first step and handling things hour by hour and day by day. Don’t get caught up and overwhelmed overthinking it. Be in the moment with God and let Him direct your path and your steps.
Pray Before Making Any Decisions
He says His word is like a lamppost at my feet guiding my steps. Allow him to guide your steps and pray before making any decisions. Think before taking any action. Lift that heavy burden of trying to do everything by yourself when you were never meant to and were not created to. God wouldn’t have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit if we didn’t need it. He knew we would need it.
Evaluate Your Life
So today evaluate your life, see what areas you are struggling with self-discipline in, talk to God and pray about it. Write them down and make a plan on how you are going to work day by day taking small steps to become more self-disciplined in this area. For example, if it’s in your finances, maybe plan to set aside $20 a week into a savings account that you would normally spend on something you likely didn’t need.
See If You Have Peace After Prayer
If it’s drugs seek help, consult family, and take the steps to begin your recovery. The Bible mentions every kind of struggle in life. Read the Bible and find Bible verses and meditate on them daily that relate to your situation. Remember to keep God first and go to Him in prayer and pray over any decision and see if you have peace about it first. Don’t try to conquer a situation in “man’s” way or you will end up back where you started.
Do Things God’s Way
Doing things man’s way is what got you where you are. Experience the true freedom in Christ and enjoy the gifts and blessings he has bestowed upon you. I think you’ll be amazed at what blessings start coming your way once you release what’s been holding you captive and truly live for God. Don’t let your lack of self-discipline be the thing that’s closing the door on God’s blessings for your life.
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”