3 tiny habits to improve self-control
I’m utterly convinced self-control is a missing piece in the spiritual walk of many Christians. It isn’t the most fun topic, but by neglecting self-control, we stunt our spiritual growth and miss out on the fullness of what God wants to do in and through us.
Self-control is one of the fruits of a life surrendered to the Spirit living inside of us. And these are three tiny habits that can help you develop self-control in your own life.
Take 1 minute (set a timer if you need to) and ask God to increase your conscientiousness. According to the Life Hacks Study Bible, “conscientiousness refers to the type of impulse control that facilitates task-and goal-directed behaviors, such as thinking before acting, delaying gratification and following rules, as well as planning, organizing and prioritizing tasks.”
Conscientiousness just means to increase your thoughts about what you are doing and why. If you want to develop self-control, start with a greater awareness of what you are doing. If you feel like you are functioning on auto-pilot, ask God to bring your attention to areas where you need to take back control.
***Fun fact: Did you know that studies show that if you start brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, it can boost your conscientiousness?
Memorize and meditate on 2 Timothy 1:7
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.--2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
“I just don’t have any self-control!”
Have those words come out of your mouth, or have you spoken them over yourself in your mind?
I know I have. I’m quick to tell myself what I don’t have or can’t do, but if you are a follower of Jesus, those words are simply UNTRUE.
You may not be practicing self-control, but it isn’t because you don’t HAVE self-control.
Scripture tells us, we have a spirit of self-control living inside of us. It’s your’s to access. The question then becomes whether we choose to access and exercise our self-control.
So, next time you start identifying yourself as a person without self-control, STOP! In Christ, you have self-control!
Identify your triggers.
In Romans, it tells us to “make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust.”
That means that we need to take note of the triggers that become “provisions” for giving in when we really want to live with self-control.
In the last week, when I’ve found myself lacking self-control, it may have been triggered by _______________________________.
How would you fill in the blank? (an event, a person, a mood)
The reality is that self-control isn’t fun. It requires discipline (another not fun word) and intentionality to recognize that self-control, though not popular (even in Christian circles), is valuable for the believer. Though self-control may not be fun in the moment, it reaps a reward that is definitely worth it.
It is like a wall of protection surrounding us, dramatically reducing our vulnerability to the enemy.