Saturday, March 9, 2013

Controlling Self-Control by Martin Wiles

Series: Living a Life of Excellence

I’d never encountered anything like it before and hoped I wouldn’t again.

While visiting a friend who lived on a farm, I suddenly ran into something that refused to let me go. Had it been a rogue hog, angry bull, or cantankerous rooster, I would have understood, but this was a mere strand of wire. I hadn’t offended this string in any way, but in short order I was mesmerized and almost cauterized. After a few agonizing moments, I was finally emancipated and hurled to the ground. After a good laugh, my friend warned me about electric fences.

When sparked with electric wire, I lost all self-control. This wasn’t the first or last time I’ve struggled with this elusive trait. Knowing God leads to self-control (II Peter 1:6 NLT).


Self-control is a necessary component in spiritual growth but isn’t automatic or an option if I crave a life of excellence. Lack of it shows up in selfish attitudes, misplaced priorities, and ungodly habits. When I’ve misplaced it, I’ll neglect God’s Word because I’m overloaded or have difficulty understanding it. My prayers may suffer the same fate because I have too much on my mind to concentrate on talking with God. I offer microwave prayers but never enter my prayer closet. And church attendance? Sunday is really the only day I have to rest and catch up. If I commit to a position at church, I’ll be committed. Lack of self-control also affects my giving to God by making it difficult for me to arrange my priorities in a godly order.

Controlling self is essential if we’re to experience the exceptional life God offers. And he’s perfectly capable of helping us control what’s out of control. Give him any areas of loose restraint so you can experience a life of excellence.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, our Savior and Guide, we confess our frequent lack of self-control in areas that cause us to miss Your best. Enable us to control those life sections so we can experience a full life and hear You say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

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