‘A man’s temptation is due to the pull of his own inward desires.’ James 1:14 PHPS
For the next few days let’s look at how to develop self-control. Here’s the first step: accept responsibility for your lack of self-control. Admit your problem. ‘A man’s temptation is due to the pull of his own inward desires, which can be enormously attractive.’ The main reason you do things—is because you like to! When you know something’s bad for you but you still do it, it’s because you want to. Sometimes we try to ignore the problem of self-control or deny it: ‘What problem? I don’t have a problem,’ or ‘It’s just the way I am,’ or ‘Everybody else is doing it.’ Sometimes we blame others: ‘If I just had different parents,’ or ‘The devil made me do it.’ As long as you waste your energy making excuses, you can’t make progress.
James points out that we like to take the path of least resistance, and giving in to temptation is usually the easiest course. The starting point for developing self-control is to face what God has already said in His Word: ‘Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.’ (John 8:34 NIV) Do you want more self-control? Then admit you have a problem, and be specific about it: ‘I have this problem. This is where I need help.’ You may have a problem with food, drink, drugs, words, your temper, money, exercise, sex, TV, clothes, time—all these areas need self-control. So today get down on your knees and talk to God about the problem, believing that with His help you’ll be able to solve it.
SoulFood: 1 Ki 14–15, Mt 18:21–35, Ps 58, Prov 6:12–15
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023