My wife, RobAnne, and I are in a small group that meets every week to discuss scripture, pray for each other, and build into each other's lives. We're purposeful about sharing things that are meaningful, we study scripture, and we apply scripture to our lives. This last week we were in the book of 2 Peter. In 2 Peter 1:5-7 it says, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” We took that list of all those things that we need to add to our faith, and we evaluated ourselves. We went around the circle and said, “Which one of these do you feel like the Lord has really developed in you?”
We also asked each other, “Which one of these are we lacking in?” It was unanimous, 100% of us said self-control. We said that we have difficulty with self-control. There is a need for us to learn how to stop ourselves in our tracks, how to think through what we say before we say it, and how to be kind and gentle when we're angry inside. Self-control is the key to us receiving what God wants to give us. Self-control is one of those characteristics that requires us to think about what our self-talk is like. What is our thought process when we make a decision?
The reality is self-control starts with one simple step: stopping. Stop before you say something. Stop before you do something. Stop before you think something. Stop and consider, “Is this what God would have me do? Is this of the Spirit? Is this dispensing the fruit of the Spirit?” Self-control seems to be out of control in our culture today and one of the marks of us as Christians is that we live with self-control.