Sunday, 22 September 2013

Working on your character: Self-control

Self-Control:  According to Wikipedia, is the ability to control one’s emotions, behavior, and desires in order to obtain some reward, or avoid some punishment.

As Christians self-control is an important character trait to possess. Not only does it benefits us spiritually, but benefits us in various kinds of dimensions as well. Before Christ many of us were ruled by some sort of anarchy. We could do whatever we desired to do without considering the consequences of our deeds. We used to have a tuck-shop back home at my aunt’s place and from an early age I would steal two slabs of chocolate, fat cakes, coke, all kinds of junk food and eat them all in a day. This habit was an everyday thing. So when I was 12years old I weighed 83Kg’s but because I did not understand that that wasn’t normal, I did not take it much to consideration. And besides, everybody on my mom’s side of the family sees obesity as a normal thing so they would tell me, “this is your body, this is who you are.” Accept yourself type of thing. 

When Jesus Christ became real in my life, He sent down His sweet Holy Spirit who teaches me things are that are vital for my well-being. Because no one ever showed me love, I always was an angry, bitter, person who always found comfort in food and pretended as if I didn’t care. It’s like, those people who’ve never experienced love and find comfort in sleeping around, and pretend as if they don’t care but we know what goes down deep in our hearts when no one is around. (Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 1Corinthians 3:16). Jesus loves me, so He taught me to love myself. When we had a fire and cooked poitjiekos with my housemates the other day, the Holy Spirit made it so clear what it means to love myself. It means to control yourself, your behavior, your desires in order to obtain some reward. After having our first plates filled with food, one of my housemates went around asking if people wanted seconds. I was the first to say yes, and she went around and kept asking, and everybody present there said they were okay, even the guys. I felt so embarrassed! Why do I feel the need to get more food when everyone got the same portion of food? Self-control!

You know, it’s like…hypocrisy? Let’s take it this way. Every day I run to the gym, I do taebo, everybody sees me and envies me, thinking I’ve got it altogether. The other day I went out to a restaurant with my sister and her friend, and I ordered the biggest plate. When the waitress arrived, I mercilessly grabbed on those ribs that even the sauce fell on my shirt. My sister’s friend looked at me with a shocked face and said, “I thought you go to gym?” while my sister shook her head eating with a fork and knife.  See, the problem is, when I’m alone I restrict myself from eating those kinds of food, so when I get the opportunity, I indulge excessively. I have learned that trying to eliminate certain things completely out of my life at once is always going to result in failure. Even fitness coaches and veterans advise us to eat a bit of everything but to manage the portion size. What I am trying to insinuate is, we need to practice self-control. When a guy wants to take you out, and you don’t want to go out, practice self-control. And if you decide to go out and the guy makes sexual advances on you, practice self-control. I like what Paul said in 1Corinthians5:9-10. He says that we must not associate ourselves with sexual immoral people, the King James Version says fornicators. But he also says, I don’t mean that you should not associate with every fornicator in the world, otherwise you will have to leave the world. What I mean is, don’t associate yourself with somebody who calls himself a Christian yet intentionally practices fornication. Tempting circumstances will always be there, whether you lock yourself in your room for a year, or spend most of your days in the church. As soon as you come out you will be forced to practice self-control at certain several stages in your life. The problem with restricting yourself from doing certain things is that you appear as a hypocrite. For example, if you shut your door and refuse to hang out with unsaved people, the moment you get an opportunity after a long time, you might make the mistake of indulging in too much wine, get drunk, and having to bear the judgments of your unsaved friends. “She says she doesn’t drink but look at her now!” But when you regularly hangout with them, without trying to appear self-righteous, they will get to know who you are by the choices you make, in this case practicing self-control, without you even having to mention that “Jesus saved your life”. 

:: He that hath suffered in his flesh has ceased from sin! ~1Peter4:1

Self-control is the ability to control your emotions, desires, behavior in order to obtain a reward. As Christians, we control our fleshly desires in order to become effective in God’s kingdom. As trainers, we control our desires for junk food in order to obtain that target weight goal. As students, we control our behavior regarding our reluctance to study in order to graduate and go out into the world and do what we love, and as friends, and daughters, and sisters, we control our emotions of anger in order to keep our loved ones in our lives. If you are going to achieve any great thing in life, you are going to have to practice self-control whether people are watching or they’re not watching, whether you feel like it, or you don’t feel like it. Stop running away from difficult situations but instead approach them with the understanding that you can do all things through Christ, only through Christ, who strengthens you. Self-control is a fruit of the spirit; pray that the Holy Spirit grants you that gift. 

Show me someone who has achieved any great thing, and I will show you one who had to overcome much adversity! 

Last year (right, in pink top) around this time my weight was 90kg's, today (left) my weight is 76kg's

Everyone at home used to tell me that I will never lose weight, that being fat is in my genes. And then I asked myself, how can a loving Father allow me to be somebody I don’t like, I don’t feel comfortable in? And then I realize that regardless of what people spoke about me, or how I feel about myself, if I become consistent in practicing self-control, I am able to do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Show me someone like Dr Myles Munroe, and I will show you someone who controlled his flesh and spent much private time on his knees!


  1. Very good read- many things I needed to hear, Sister!

  2. thank you, I'm glad this blog ministered to you :)