Proverbs 25:28, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
I’ll never forget the first time I really understood this proverb. I was talking to an older friend who was giving me counsel after I had been in an argument with another pastor. In my hurt and frustration I asked him, “Why is it I feel so drained and overwhelmed with all this emotion?”
He then responded back with this proverb and explained to me that when I lacked self-control by losing my temper in my disagreement with the other pastor I became an easy target for the enemy. Since my emotional guard was down it was easy for the devil to come steal my peace and bring confusion.
My biggest temptation is to lose control of my temper. For others it is hard for them to control their sex drive. Some find it difficult to control their eating and spending habits. And some people cannot control their thoughts and words. As a result, in Christianity we often think that though God’s grace saved us its now up to us to obey God’s commands and do what’s right in our own efforts. However, without God’s grace we cannot please God and obey any of His commands.
Therefore, the answer to lack of self-control isn’t to build up the self and try to have more self-discipline. The opposite is actually true. Jesus commanded us to “deny ourselves” (Luke 9:23) and Paul said to count the old sinful self as “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). As a result, the only way we can have true self-control is to yield our self to the control (guidance) of the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us.
When we are full of God’s Spirit and led by His Word we will always be able to keep our self in control, 2 Timothy 1:7. Plus, the Bible actually says that “self-control” is one of the fruits (manifestations) of the Holy Spirit and should be in every believer’s life, Galatians 5:23. Thus, we should always be able to resist emotional invasion from the enemy because God guards the walls of our heart!
- Repent for the times you have lacked self-control.
- Ask God to develop in you the fruit of self-control by His Spirit.
- If you ever notice your emotional walls are coming down, repent and ask God to build them back up!