Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Self Control, and the Opposite

On August 13th, I wrote a blog posting on discipline, if you haven't read it, it might be amusing to go back and read it after!

Lately, life has felt a bit out of control.

First, it started with meeting my weight loss goal, which was an exciting milestone, but with that comes a lack of strict self control with eating and exercise. "One extra cookie won't kill me now!"  Soon one cookie was five cookies, and soon five cookies... well.  I won't admit how many cookies I've eaten. in one sitting.  But it's not pretty.

Next, my newly acquired discipline with cleaning the house, my check mark list I completed each week, felt like routine.  So I quit.  I thought, how realistic is it to have a list that I check off EVERY week?  I need to find a healthy balance here, and now that I'm used to cleaning every day, it should be easy.  Ironically, this is pretty much the same talk I gave myself when I "quit diet-ing" ... which I already knew wasn't working!

Then off slides the bible study.  First it's just one day behind.  I can catch up tomorrow.  Then I'm an entire week behind, cramming in a week of lessons in a day so that I am not embarrassed at bible study.  I'm sure that's what God was going for with that whole "be in the Word" thing.

Self control is defined as restraint over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires.  Nearly all of my "discipline" issues really seem like self-control issues. And as I allow one thing to slide, my self control is weakened.  It's a landslide at this point.

I found this list of bible verses all on self control: http://devotionalchristian.com/self-control-bible-verses/  if you are interested, let me just warn you, there are a LOT.

By far the most interesting to me is Galatians 5:22.  Self control is a fruit of the spirit.

I'm having a light bulb moment where things are finally coming together for me.  A month and a half ago, I felt quite confident in  my own abilities. I had found a way to balance taking care of the kids, exercising, eating healthy, bible study, serving the church family, cleaning the house.  I really didn't need God for anything anymore!  And soon all of the things I was doing, I was actually doing for me.

It started off with the right attitude.  I want to feel healthier.  Then, it became, I want to look better.

I want to provide a warm comfortable home for my family, but then it became an obsession with a list, mostly filled with resentment that I had to do so much by myself.

I want to learn more about God's Word so I committed to being in the study each day, but soon it was just another thing on my list to complete.

If I completed enough things, tasks, finished my to do list, I felt successful. Prideful.  Arrogant even.

I'll end this with far greater words than I could come up with, except to say that I am learning, slowly.  So slowly and painfully sometimes!  But as I realize my own weakness, and my own inability to "keep up the show" of having everything put together all of the time, I know I glorify God more. I know then it's His strength keeping my family, our church, my home, and myself, sustained and loved.

“Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love."  -Charles Spurgeon

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