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“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28 NIV)

God’s Spirit gives self-control.

 Defining self control, it is the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.  Examples of self-control: not saying what you’re really thinking, not eating the third piece of cake, not buying things you can’t afford.  Jesus gave us help for all of these:

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

God’s Spirit is power.

We lack self-control because we don’t seek God’s help.  Jesus knew we couldn’t do life without Him, which is why He sent a helper:

“I will send you the Helper from the Father. The Helper is the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father. When he comes, he will tell about me.” (John 15:26 NIV)

God’s Spirit reveals His truth to us as we seek Him.  Power is given to us to overcome the temptations of the world:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)

Margin helps you avoid temptation.  When you create space in your life to keep you from doing something you don’t want to do, I call it margin.  For instance, when I was single, trying not to succumb to premarital sex, I made a practice to date publicly.  I didn’t place myself in compromising positions, like a hotel room with a man alone.  When I was getting to know someone, I did it in group settings with friends.  I trusted their opinion, not my feelings. The consensus on my husband was unanimous.

Now that we’re married, my husband and I protect our relationship.  We don’t spend time with someone of the opposit sex alone.  For instance, we met playing on a mixed doubles tennis team, guy and girl partners.  We have friends who played with a partner, not their spouse, regularly.  They ended up leaving their spouse for their tennis partner because of the relationship that developed.  Things they should reserve for their spouse, they talked about with someone outside the marriage, resulting in divorces.  Therefore, hubby and I don’t play mixed doubles with regular partners.  We protect our marriage by creating margin.

Whatever area you are struggling with self-control, spend time asking God to give you strength to resist.  Create a way out of the situation by making margin in your life.

Question of the Day:

Where do you need God’s Spirit to give you self-control today?

Further Reading: Jeremiah 37-38 NIV, 1 Timothy 6 NIV, Psalm 89:38-52 NIV, Proverbs 25:28 NIV

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