Lack of self-control leads to multiple sins and is a major cause of many sins. The person who lost that job after misspeaking did not lose it because his or her “village people” were behind it. The person lost it because she/he lacked self-control. It’s easy to dictate to someone and ensure they do that thing but how easy is it to control our own selves? Before mentioning effective ways to maintain self-control, I would take us through a couple of biblical examples of people who lacked self-control.
King David is a very popular example of someone who lacked self-control. While other men were on the battle field, he decided to remain in the palace and that was where he saw Bathsheba taking a bath. He ought to have looked away knowing fully well that she was also a married woman instead, he started lusting after her and demanded that she be brought to him. He ended up sleeping with her, most likely with her consent as the bible does not tell us that it was forceful. She became pregnant and David started to panic. He was afraid of what would be said and then he got Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband to come home and he tried to cover up his sin but when Uriah was not giving in, he arranged for him to be killed. David became an adulterer and murderer all because he could not control himself. He could not turn the other way and resist what was not his and he almost lost himself alongside Israel. (2 Samuel chapters 11-12)
When Saul was still king, he went for a battle and before then, God commanded them not to take any of the spoils of the land and make sure to destroy everything. However, Saul had his own plans. Contrary to God’s instruction, he spared the king of the Amalekites. He was unable to control himself and publicly rebelled against God. For this reason, alongside several others, God wanted to find a replacement for him. God was not going to have a rebel lead his people and so he rejected Saul and chose someone else to take over. Just a little moment of unduly self-indulgence, just a little bit of greed and disobedience caused Saul to lose more than he bargained for. (1 Samuel 15)
Solomon is till today, used as a reference to wisdom. I am sure you have heard once or twice the saying “as wise as Solomon”. He is someone that I find to be intriguing. God had given him a blank check and he asked God for wisdom. The mere fact that he asked for that showed that he had some level of wisdom already. I mean, I’d have probably asked for something less captivating. God answered his prayers and he became a very wise man. Nevertheless, he had a “but”. It is likely that Solomon had a weakness, lust and he seemed to have managed that weakness improperly. If we read the book of 1 Kings we get to see just how much he lacked self-control. We discover that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. If he was to see each wife for a day, he would not even get to see them all in a year. He started great but he seemed to have ended shabbily. Solomon who pleased God so much so that God gave him a blank check, now became an idolater because he let himself get swayed by the effects of his lack of self-control. (Deuteronomy 17:17; 1 Kings 3:1-8)
I would not like to assume that they did not try to help themselves. Lack of self-control is not really something people delight in. Therefore, the most effective way to gain control of your life, your actions, your words, your thoughts, is by handing the control to The One who knows you best, The Holy Spirit. He is the greatest helper of mankind. David, Saul and Solomon did not have the Holy Spirit like we do today so it’s easier to understand their plight. We do. We have Him dwelling in our heart (for we who believe) and He is able and willing to help us handle that situation that always seems to bring out the worst in us. He’s willing to help us help ourselves. We honestly cannot do it by ourselves, we need Him.
It is also important that we shut out anything that could lure us into that thing we consider our weakness, that thing that makes us lose control. If David had left that area that he was able to see Bathsheba from, he might have been able to control himself. Also, use the word of God to guide your heart. For example, if you have problem controlling your anger and you keep the word of God that says “anger lies in the bosom of a fool” close to your heart, you would learn to control yourself next time you feel angry because you do not want to be a fool. The last but definitely not the least, keep the right company. Amnon was lusting after his sister and wanted to sleep with her but if he had the right friend, he would have received a better advice than the one his friend, Jonadab gave him on how to deceive his parents and forcefully sleep with his sister (2 Samuel 13:1-14).
When Jesus died and was resurrected, He handed over to us, all authority. We cannot boast of our authority over the enemy if we cannot even take charge of our own lives. For everyone that believes in Jesus as The Christ (Messiah), self-control is not unattainable. All you need is to depend on the Holy Spirit. Take charge of yourself by enforcing the authority Jesus gave you through the Holy Spirit!