Hello, dear sisters,
I knew this one was coming. You cannot do a Bible study on developing good Christian character without tackling the area of self-control. My emotions were running on two tracks when I flipped the page this week and saw the words "self-control." On one hand, I was excited to get started. I know this is an area of weakness in my life, and I want to change to become more like my Savior. On the other hand, I was a bit melancholy because I know this is a weakness in my life, battling some of the same things for years, and another round of failure is not my idea of a good or profitable time. But because I am involved in this blog with you girls, I had to face the negative, put those thoughts down and go with the positive. And I am so glad that I did. God had something new waiting to be learned!!!:)
While reading the chapter this week in our Bible study, I was also following my daughter-in-law, Jen's blog on praying for sons. Each day Jen prays for a different character quality or aspect in a man-to-be's life. Wouldn't you know and you have probably guessed it... this week one of the topics was "self-control." In the curriculum Jen is using, the author said she recognized that in the realm of self-control, the real need is to pray that our boys would love Jesus more....more than the sin that is currently on the throne of their hearts. She tells how one day she realized she did love Jesus, but she loved Him less than a whole lot of other stuff in her life like looking good, filling herself up on her favorite food, and time to herself. She did love Jesus, but less than having her book published, less than getting even with her husband, yelling at her kids or getting her own way.
That really convicted me. I thought about all the recent choices I made. Like that third cookie I ate last night. Throughout my adult life it has become very clear that food is one of my areas where I lack self-control, particularly when it comes to sweets. Yesterday evening, I heard the Holy Spirit gently prodding me to show self-control, but I ate that cookie anyway. No one was around to watch; no real pressing feelings of guilt until this morning after I read Jen's blog. At the end of her post, she asked what it was that we loved Jesus less than. Immediately that stinking cookie popped into my mind! Oh, I love Jesus, but I loved Him less last night than I loved that third cookie! I hope these words ring through my mind from now on when I am faced with a choice: "Do you really love Him less than that?"
So at the end of this week, I can honestly say: I loved this week! I loved the exercise on pages 163-64; it helped me see old habits that I hadn't recognized before and gave me insight into what I could do everyday to replace the old with some wonderful new! The "Schedule Self-Test" was a great exercise in making me aware of what was motivating me and that my motivations are changing as I grow and change. And Katie's ideas on creating a Sabbath rest whether it is weekly or daily are going to become more and more part of my life.
One thing is abundantly clear to me and that is...when it comes to this mouth of mine...what goes in and what comes out...needs to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. And it is His Spirit in me that can create the self-control that I so desperately need!
How was this week of self-control for you, my friends?
Love from North Carolina!!!