Written by, Kim Johnson, Author of “I Am My Sister”
I have always been able to control myself, even as a small child. Self-discipline was never really an issue for me, especially once I got it in my head that I had better do the right thing. However…there have been times when my flesh hasn’t always fallen in line with my thinking. I can remember a few times when the Holy Spirit has told me to do one thing, and I simply choose to do something else. I have to giggle when I think about it, because I rationalized my disobedience by telling myself that it was myself talking to me. Sisters, I have loads of stories that I could share with you where I have listened to myself. Some of my stories would make you laugh, and some, you would say, make me look pathetic.
The thing is this, we cannot do everything we feel like doing as Christians. We can’t tell people off because they hurt our feelings or offend us (even though we may want too). And when people treat us bad or poorly we can’t treat them the same way. Instead, we have to let things go and pray for those that hurt us.
I know you are probably saying it’s hard to do these things, but I’m telling you, you can do it; I’m telling myself as well, because God knows, I am a work in progress.
Joel Osteen (2014), my favorite Pastor, tells us that “we cannot be loose in our morals. We cannot let our flesh have its way. We have to exercise self-control and discipline, we cannot say things, and then regret what we said later. Had we been disciplined in what we said earlier, we wouldn’t feel bad later, and then wish we had never said it the first place. Self-control and self-discipline go hand and hand, we must stay in control in all things and ways.”
In any event, the apostle Paul tells us about his own hard time trying to do the right thing in life. He says, “What I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15-20).
“All of us can relate to the fierce internal struggle that Paul describes. We find ourselves succumbing to sin, even though we want to honor God. The thing is this, until we stand in Jesus’ presence, we will all experience this battle. The only way to win is by dying to ourselves so that Christ can live through us and by submitting to the Spirit’s overcoming wisdom and power” (Stanley).
So what does dying to the flesh mean? According to the bible, the spirit is ready but the flesh is weak. The flesh is a source of temptation. The desires of the flesh can be sinful only if we give into them…we must die to the flesh by listening to the voice of God, and not ourselves! Dying in the Flesh is to trade your will, for God’s will, for your life.
Sistah to Sistah, do you hear me? Are you exercising self-control and self-discipline over your life?
Osteen, J. (2014, May 24). Being Disciplined and Rule Over Your Feelings. Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=being+disciplined+and+rule+over+your+feelings+sermon&view=detail&mid=7E2EEA1ED9D8F15A855B7E2EEA1ED9D8F15A855B&FORM=VIRE
Stanley, C. (n.d.). Romans 7:15-20. In Life Principles Bible. Thomas Nelson.