Make every effort to supplement your faith . . . with self-control. —2 Peter 1:5–6
Self-control is something we need—and often something we fail to exercise. However, self-control isn’t primarily a matter of sheer willpower. Generally, if we’re exercising self-control through human effort alone, it tends to lead to frustration or failure.
The biblical view of self-control goes beyond what we can do on our own. It’s something that’s supernatural, a fruit of the Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to deal with the desires of our flesh. That’s why we see this contrast in Ephesians 5: “Don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit” (v. 18). “Drunk with wine”—that’s a lack of self-control and living in excess, whether it has to do with alcohol, eating, or anything else. It’s excessively giving in to the passions and drives of your flesh. Instead of excessive, intemperate living, be under the control of the Holy Spirit in every area of life because He is your source of power to say “no” to your flesh and “yes” to God.
Make it Personal
In which areas of life do you struggle with self-control? How can you relinquish control to the Holy Spirit?