Hey ladies, I pray that you’re finding these natural inner beauty posts valuable. Our culture is so focused on outer beauty that the more important inner beauty is often neglected, tarnishing the outward appearance. Inner beauty is not as easy to attain as outer beauty. It takes time, discipline, practice and, most important, the help of the Holy Spirit to develop certain virtues. The upcoming second book in my Faith & Kung-Fu series centers on this week’s natural inner-beauty virtue: self-control.
What is self-control? Well, Bible Gateway describes self-control as “physical and emotional self-mastery, particularly in situations of intense provocation or temptation.” Living in the world without becoming worldly requires a lot of self-control. And this is why this virtue is fundamental in instilling many of the other virtues we’ve discussed previously, such as patience, kindness and integrity.
Like a city breached, without walls, is one who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)
Consider practicing more self-control in the following areas of your life:
- At school. When you’re around your friends, it’s easy to emulate the bad habits and character traits of those you look up to. You want to fit in with your friends or be cool in front of a boy, so it’s tempting to do something unbecoming of a Christian girl. Self-control sets you apart. It may mean that you miss out on doing some things, but usually they’re the things you shouldn’t be doing anyway, right?
- At home. Showing self-control can be difficult at home. Sometimes we take things out on those we love. But showing self-control when we deal with parents or siblings is really important.
Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” Think about that! When you lack self-control, it can make you unhappy. You get angry or upset with people quickly and without much provocation. Or maybe you crush on guys easily, and you are heartbroken and get depressed when the feeling isn’t reciprocated. Or you’re easily tempted to get intimate with a guy you like, and after you do, you feel guilty.
Lacking self-control could mean you get angry and hurt others, or you want something and steal it. So, Franklin was spot-on. A person with self-control is happier and law-abiding because she knows how to control herself physically and emotionally.
If you’re finding it a struggle to have self-control, then consider the following tips:
- Read your Bible. Self-control is discussed many times in scripture. It’s the mark of a Christian.
- Practice it. Like any virtue, you really need to practice it. Open your eyes to all the situations that require self-control. You may find that these moments occur more often than not.
- Pray for it. Self-control is not an easy virtue to attain and you will definitely need the Lord to help you. So call upon Him in all moments that require it. Pray that He helps you recognize the weak and vulnerable moments and that he helps you control them with ease.
For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Ladies, do you have self-control? Do you know of other ways to strengthen your self-control?