Self-control: saying no to your flesh and yes to God

Posted on April 25, 2014 · Posted in Parenting, Sanctification

Biblically, self-control is not a behavior issue, as in “get control of yourself.” Rather, it is an issue of the gospel. Self-control is actively following what God wants via the instruction of the Spirit in his word. This makes self-control an issue of walking by the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:13-23)

Therefore, self-control is not about changing behavior. Self-control is the good yield of the Holy Spirit’s work producing his fruit. It is helpful to describe self-control this way:

Self-control is the ability to say no to my wrong desires and yes to what God wants me to do.

Prayer for Self-Control:

Father, please help me to say no to sin and yes to obedience and pleasing you. I really want to do whatever you want me to do, but it’s too hard by myself. I need your help all the time to say “yes” to you. Please help me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ruth Younts in Get Wisdom!

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.