Why can’t an overweight person who wants to lose weight in the worst way, make it happen? Why can’t they just do it, eat less, exercise more? I mean, it isn’t hard to figure out what to do; why is it so hard to do it, in fact, almost impossible. What is it that we are fighting against, and how do we win. Why can’t a person who blows up and loses their temper regularly just stop it and become patient, always? How about an alcoholic, or a person addicted to drugs, or pornography, or, or, or.
The Apostle Paul, a very godly man, had the same struggle, and he expressed it well in Romans 7:15, ”For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”
In our journey through life one of our goals is to overcome and conquer the devil, the world, and our flesh with it’s inclination to control us. That is not an easy war to win, and many don’t, in fact, most don’t. Most have given up winning, and just declare, ”that is just who I am.”
The critical character trait to grow in is self-control. Paul defines self-control in 1 Corinthians 9:27 this way, ”but I discipline my body and make it my slave.” Wow, make my body my slave, it does what I want, not me doing what it wants, that sounds like absolute freedom. How do I grow stronger and stronger in self-control? The average person, if asked that question would have no clue. Well, for sure you won’t grow in self-control if you don’t know how, don’t have a plan or strategy.
The most important word to remember is ”train”, not ”try”, we want to train ourselves better, not try harder. If you get put into a tennis game with a good player, having never played the game before yourself, you will get beat, probably annihilated, and no amount of trying harder will change the score, it will probably just make it worse, and make you feel more and more like a loser. You need to sign-up to take tennis lessons, train, and practice. If you get good training and practice hard you will become a winner. That is how life is lived successfully by overcomers and champions.
Tomorrow we will outline a plan on how to train ourselves to become more and more self-controlled.