SELF-CONTROL is the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations. The ability to control yourself, particularly in trials, is a fruit or manifestation of God’s Spirit living within you. The inability to do so, reflects that your flesh and it’s appetites are really what’s ruling your behavior. You’ve made your body, your passions, or your emotions an idol…a god that steers your decisions and directions. This is not just a natural propensity that runs in your family, nor do you get a pass because you’re going through something really hard right now. If your flesh is producing ungodly behaviors (gluttony, lies, pornography, greed/spending, excessive anger…) God might be pushing His maturity button on the area of self-control. You might need to repent.
That was pretty direct, but that’s just how we need to deal with our lack of self-control. If we view our propensity to allow the cravings of our flesh to rule as just a nuisance, we will not ask God’s Spirit to grace us with the strength we need to please Him fully in holiness. Sometimes my body is running the show. Paul said, “…I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) As hard as it is, we have to make our flesh obey God’s Spirit within. “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:15) When you look at what’s going in and out of your life gates (your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your thoughts) who or what is ruling? Is it God’s Spirit? If not, self-control is what you need.