Thankfully, there are many resources to help us develop and strengthen ourselves in these ways. There is one very special resource, and it is available to all:
For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7 (World English Bible)
This verse has been integral to my personal and spiritual growth. In periods of struggle or doubt, I have relied on it heavily.
Sometimes it is easy to be anxious about areas where we need more self-discipline. I struggle with consistency in my diet, exercise and neatness. In fact, I’ve wondered when that promised self-control is going to show up. Then I remember that there are three possible answers to prayer: “yes,” “no” and “wait.”
When I doubt my progress, I look at my life and recognize the many ways in which God has helped me with self-discipline. When I was a child, I chose to cheat in school. I quickly realized “winning” wasn’t worth much if I knew that it was not legitimate – and cheating was not how I wanted to live. In college, I tried to use my spring allergies as an excuse for poor memorization of the required 200 lines of Shakespeare. That was so humiliating I became much better at preparation.
In my late twenties, as a female businessperson, I used colorful language to show that I could fit in with the guys who vastly outnumbered me. Then, there came a time when I did not want to be defined by that – and I chose to stop.
There was a long-ago time when alcohol was an important and regular part of socializing for me, but the physical effects and poor decision-making of over-indulgence were not worth it. So, I stopped. In addition, I became friends with a recovering alcoholic and decided that drinking around him, or anyone who struggled with this issue, was not a constructive way to build friendship.
Does Christianity make us perfect? Obviously not. Only Christ was perfect.
Do we have to be perfect to be a Christian? Obviously not. We just need to consider our own lives to see this truth.
Does God help us defeat habits or desires that otherwise can defeat us? Absolutely!
How will you let God help you? If you ask him, you will see progress.
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend
The Entrepreneur’s Friend® is a registered trademark of Wheaton Consulting Group LLC. Photo credits: All photos were taken by Cynthia Wheaton and owned by Wheaton Consulting Group LLC except as noted. Coffee cup art by Jim Wheaton. Author support: Fellow authors from The Wrinklings and Light of Carolina Christian Writers Group.