Self-control is necessary to accomplish anything that takes a while. Instant gratification messes it up. Look ahead!
Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a person who lacks self-control.
If not a city, how about a vineyard?
Proverbs 24:30-34 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
The sluggard is a person who is too lazy to do things right the first time. He usually either does them again or does without.
The one who lacks judgment chooses the one cookie now over several cookies later (a test on children). One would think that there is no harm in this decision–and he would be right. The problem comes when the choice makes us fat, late, or miss an opportunity, and it’s all because we chose poorly.
How do we learn self-control? First, rest assured that God is growing it in us!
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Second, His Spirit asks us all the time if we will listen to Him. When we choose Him, He teaches us self-control. Consider this:
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire (quench the Spirit, as in Ephesians 4:30); do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
Consider prophecies here to be what the Holy Spirit reveals to us as the end result of what we are considering. If we are considering another piece of pie, can we afford the calorie count? How about our sugar level? Will it make us sleepy or cranky? Have we even eaten dinner, yet (he says sheepishly)?!
As we can see, the Spirit warns us about all things. The question is, “Are we listening?”
Proverbs 1:23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.
Oh, what opportunities we have missed in life deciding for ourselves rather than checking with our Lord! Let’s not make the same mistake today.
Psalms 37:4-7 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.