"I'm not going to have a spirit of agitation"
"I'm going to lose the weight "
"I'm going to pray every single night and every single morning"
"I'm going to.... I'm not going to...."
The list goes on. And on.
The feeling of:
"I can't do anything right"
"I'm never going to change"
These things often Proceed all of all of our attempt at setting goals and then falling short. I have not mastered this but I have gotten wise council and have conquered some things with a simple philosophy:
'One day at a time.. and sometimes it is one hour at a time.... and other times one minute at a time.'
We have to be more intentional with our mind space. I have found that when I'm focused on small daily goals I'm more likely to accomplish them. Whenever I feel like I'm losing my self control, if I pause and pray, usually I walk through just fine. When I don't succeed, I have to extend grace to myself and keep going.
I admire my husband in this area so much. He has the most self control of anyone I have ever met. When I ask him how do you do it? He tells me it is a by product of his roots in Jesus; which is totally convicting, but also encouraging. Instead of us focusing on the list of goals we simply need to shift our perspective and attention to spending more time in the word, on our knees and in worship.
When I first got saved so many things I struggled with for years just fell away. Which was an immediate by-product of walking with the spirit. Self control, as we know, is fruit produced by being rooted and planted in the right soil. So therefore, we must take it seriously and proceed with caution when we make huge goals for ourselves and are quick to proclaim our plans for our lives. Shelley Giglio once told me that each morning she wakes up and ask God how she can move the needle a little more TODAY. That if you are faithful one day at a time, you will look back on your life ten years later and God will do things you could have never dreamed possible.
In scripture Jesus demonstrates His self-control in every conversation He has with the pharisees as they try to back Him in a corner with questions, through the temptation in the wilderness, and in His love for us in enduring the very maximum punishment on the cross. In every circumstance His words dripped with grace, love and most importantly scripture. He consistently gives us examples of how we should live in the day-to-day, moment by moment by engaging in every situation and holding true to faith and love.
So in conclusion I believe that self control comes to us more when we seek Jesus above all else. When our daily goal is to let him lead us and the more he forges his spirit in us, the less likely we are to do anything that wouldn't honor him. That includes eating the bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough. Thankfully we have a God who knows our hearts and in our weaknesses he is strong. Let's confess where we are weak and let him be our strength.