Eating healthy makes me cranky. It’s hard! There are all sorts of temptations everywhere. Like the pizza, cookie cake and ice cream at my nephews birthday party tonight. Or the chocolate and Chic-fil-a from our sweet neighbor yesterday.
But guess what? Being cranky or sad or mad are not valid reasons to throw self-control out the window. It stinks because when I’m cranky, and my emotions start to boil, I feel like I have every right to explode or be short with my family or impatient with my spouse or eat a dozen Oreos… but I don’t have that right. Not in God’s Kingdom. No matter how hard my day has been, it’s never my right to be hurtful. It’s my sin to be hurtful; to myself and others.
It’s easy to reason that it’s just one slice, or just a little frosting on the finger, or just one cuss word, or just one cigarette, but the core issue in the battle of self-control is the inability to just say no. Not a little, or maybe or just this once. No.
No to the candy or the pizza. No to hitting snooze and missing your quiet time. No to unleashing your emotions in an unhealthy way. No to flipping off the driver next to you. No to spending 2 hours playing on your phone instead of connecting with the people in the room.
We have so many choices every day to either do what is right and good or to do what is wrong but feels good.
Psalms 32:9 says, Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.
God loves us so much that He created us with a will and allows us to make our own choices. We get to choose to love and pursue Him, or we can choose to love ourselves. We can choose to destroy our bodies by what we eat or we can be the weird one in the group that only eats plants. We can yell at our kids or we can take steps to resolve conflicts before they get to that point.
I want to be strong. I want to be reliable and trustworthy and kind. I want my life to be built on God’s truths and shaped after His character. I want God to be pleased with my choices. But when I can’t say no to sin, my foundation is shaky.
A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)
My prayer today is that by His grace (the divine ability of God) I will be able to say no when I need to. That I can stay strong in what God has called me to do in attitude, health, action, and character. That my striving won’t be for perfection but for God’s pleasure. Because obedience that is freely given is so much better than required obedience.
So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 1 Peter 1:13 (NLT)