Practice Self-Control

2 Peter 1:1-11

When I was a boy, my mother bought me a box of chocolate-covered cherries because she knew I loved them. The first one tasted so good that I soon wanted another. I just kept eating them until I felt sick. There was nothing wrong with the chocolates; the problem was my lack of self-control.

Peter lists self-control as one of the virtues we should diligently supply in our life, which means we must commit ourselves to certain behaviors and say no to others. Every situation that tempts us to cross boundaries is an opportunity to practice restraint.

Anything sinful is obviously off-limits, but many beneficial things also need restraint. For instance, food is good and necessary for life, but overeating leads to all sorts of problems. Other areas that require discipline involve the use of money, time, words, and anger.

What keeps us from diligently pursuing this goal is the low priority we place on it. If we don’t see the value of controlling our speech, we’ll say whatever we want at the moment. The same is true of a diet. It’s hard to stick with it if our desire for food is greater than our longing to lose weight. Self-control means we follow through whether we feel like it or not.

If we understand that God has given us all we need for life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3), we’ll recognize self-control is within our grasp. Ultimately it’s produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). However, we have the responsibility of relying on His power and diligently practicing self-discipline whenever we’re tempted to do otherwise.

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