Adapted and edited from Bishop Roberto Jemmott’s monthly newsletter “Shepherd to Shepherd” (March 2013)
Wikipedia defines self-control as: “The ability to control one’s emotions, behavior, and desires in order to obtain some reward, or avoid some punishment. Presumably, some (smaller) reward or punishment is operating in the short term, which precludes, or reduces, the later reward or punishment. In psychology, it is sometimes called self-regulation. Exerting self-control through the executive functions in decision making is held in some theories to deplete one’s ability to do so in the future.”
History is replete with great men and women who achieve greatness only to have their reputation tarnished for lack of self-control. In this country, we have seen great politicians, business executives and religious leaders whose names have been tarnished because of lack of self-control in some area of their lives. King Solomon, who is considered the wisest man during his time, said the following:
Better to be patient than powerful;
better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
Proverbs 16:32 (NLT)
When the coalition forces led by the USA invaded and captured Bagdad, they used superior forces to capture the city in less than one month. This was not an easy task, yet Solomon said that having self-control was better than conquering a city.
As a Spiritual Ironman, we need to demonstrate self-control in the following areas of our lives:
1. We need to learn how to control our emotions, our behavior and our desires. We must not give the enemy room or reason to criticize our lack of self-control in any areas of our lives. “And do not give the devil an opportunity.” Ephesians 4:27 (NASB)
2. We need to practice self-control as one would work out in the gym. “But I discipline my body and make it my slave…” 1 Corinthians 9:27a (NASB)
3. The lack of self-control will disqualify you from being a Spiritual Ironman. Remember, as men we are the moral banner or standard for others who look to us for guidance. “…So that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27b (NASB)
Remember, without self-control you will continue to struggle in your quest to become a Spiritual Ironman.
Your Iron Coach,