“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8,9).
The word “self-control” evokes images of my past failures. It causes me to remember the times I lost the battle mastering my temper, limiting my spending and keeping my attitude right. The word “self-control” calls up a long list of “don’ts.”
Although self-control does mean you have to tell yourself “no,” it means something positive too. It means you can have control over yourself!
Think about all the marvelous things this includes:
We can control our spending.
We can decide NOT to lose our temper.
We can decide to be hopeful instead of depressed.
We can be the person we want to be.
Our behavior is controllable!
If there are things you don’t like about yourself, self-control is what allows you to change them. No one says it will be easy, but it is possible.
Twice in the Bible, the word “alert” is paired with “³self-control.” I find this meaningful. Most of the time when I lose control of myself, it’s because I¹m not alert.
I lose my temper when I don’t think ahead about how I will react. I spend too much money when I don’t make a budget ahead of time. I envy others when I’m not concentrating on my own blessings.
When we are alert and self-controlled, we can be the people we want to be.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2005 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.