Self-control is a powerful quality to demonstrate as an individual. It’s an empowering quality. Everyone benefits from the ability to exercise restraint over one’s own impulses, emotions, and desires. Would you like more self-control in your own life? We all have areas of our lives that could use more self-control.
It’s interesting to note that Paul, in Galatians, highlights this as part of the fruit mentioned of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)
Self-control is built through the Spirit and through practicing it. Practicing self-control parallels the idea of working out a muscle; the more a muscle is exercised, the stronger the muscle becomes. The same idea holds true for self-control.
Every day, we’re bombarded with options, decisions, and choices. To demonstrate restraint can be challenging at times. Would you like a self-control weekly workout? Start fasting one or two times a week.
Some followers of Jesus fast one or two days per week, maybe more on special occasions. One of the several benefits to fasting a day or two per week is self-control. The strength of self-control builds within an individual as they practice this discipline of fasting. All kinds of opportunity and desire will arise surrounding food. Pushing the powerful desire for food to the side to seek the Lord is rewarding. God honors fasting in a multitude of ways and one of those is simply increasing our ability to powerfully demonstrate self-control of our emotions, desires and impulses.
The beauty of fasting is it puts the flesh in check. What do you mean “in check”? Fasting weekly teaches the flesh it’s not in charge – YOU are. In America, we have the luxury to eat anytime of the day. Food is readily available, so much so, that we could eat non-stop all day if we wanted.
Fasting causes the flesh to die. Practicing fasting causes that “hunger pain voice” to become quieter and quieter in time. If you’re new to fasting that hunger voice will be very present and loud. Fasting four weeks straight, the body will actually get ready for the shut-down and prepares for no food. We can train our bodies. The hunger voice will all but fade into a faint whisper. The voice of the Lord in us grows instead.
In fasting, the body becomes uncomfortable and irritable because of a lack of calories and detoxing. Embracing the discomfort, we develop a comfort-ability in the absence of food; the “fruit of fasting” comes in the rest of the week. Learning to keep a good attitude, saying no to food on the day of fasting, causes self-control to grow powerfully. Then as challenges arise through the week, because of the fasting workout, we’re better prepared to remain “level-headed” and demonstrate self-control. We can respond to circumstances, rather than react because of the fruit of self-control present in our lives.
Are you ready to start fasting? Does the idea to fast one day or two per week intimidate you a little? Why might that be the case?
Do you already fast? Have you discovered more self-control through fasting?
What are some other ways the Lord has helped cultivate a lifestyle of self-control? Can you think of a time where self-control saved you from making some poor decisions?
Please share any additional insights that come to mind in the comments below!
This post was written by Joshua Paul, a staff writer for GOD TV.