Self-Control – A Word Study – Day 1

Self-Control n.
control or restraint of oneself or one’s actions, feelings, etc.
syn. self-discipline, self-restraint, willpower, levelheadedness

Today’s Verse: Proverbs 25:28

  • Losing self-control leaves you as helpless as a city without a wall. [CEV]
  • Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. [NIV]
  • A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out. [The Message]
  • He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. [KJV]

Biblical Connotation:
During Biblical times, if a city was without a wall it was without defenses and could easily be destroyed from the inside.

Contemporary Connotation:
If we are without self-control, we destroy ourselves from the inside.

Journal Response:
A lack of self-control leads us me to destroy myself. Without self-control I am vulnerable to every whim or want that tickles my fancy.

1.) Spending Habits:
I managed to control my spending habits, first by exercising the self-control of not looking at shopping ads or television commercials. I learned very quickly that I could live without “impossible to live without” things is I didn’t know they existed. The next thing I did to control my spending habits was to shop with a list that contained only needs. If I picked up an item not on my list I could not put it in my cart until I answered the following questions:

  • Can I live without it?
  • How will this change my life for the better?
  • How will this change my life for the good?
  • How will I feel about this next week? Next month? Next year?
  • Who am I trying to impress with this purchase?
  • What am I willing to sacrifice to have this?
  • And finally, if the impulse purchase item in question costs over $20.00, I am not allowed to buy it until I have waited at least 24 hours. If it cost over $100.00, I make myself wait at least 3 days before purchasing — and as a result I most often don’t purchase the item at all.

2.) Impatience:
My first day of school as a brand new teacher I gave myself a lecture on self-control. “You may not be impatient with the students over your own mistakes.” That was a biggie because often frustration — be it with myself, a stubborn bottle top, unexpected delays, or someone else’s behavior — tweaks my temper. I’m human so I’m impatient, that’s to be expected — however, routinely giving in to that impatience and taking it out on others isn’t acceptable behavior. Now when I feel myself growing impatient I have some questions I stop and consider:

  • Why am I impatient?
  • Is it fixable and who needs to fix it?
  • How quickly can it be fixed?
  • What is the fairest and easiest way to handle this?
  • If it can’t be fixed, how do I work around it?

Generally just asking the questions alleviates the frustration. For some reason petty annoyances that when indulged carry enough power to start a world war, simply dissolve under careful scrutiny. If the frustration does not dissipate, then I have counter measures in place to alleviate the problem; and while one of those methods is confrontation, it generally isn’t a snarl or a growl, but a statement of fact and a suggestion or request. “Johnny, that pencil thumping is getting on my last nerve. Please stop or I am going to get irritated and nasty and I just might cancel recess.” Such steps usually get compliance.

3.) Weight-loss
My current problem is weight-loss.  I already know one of the questions I need to ask myself before I eat is, “Are you really hungry?”  But this one is hard for me.  I have a lifetime of habits and mental conditioning to overcome.  Food is comfort and saftey and belonging.  Food is love.  Where do I get the self-control to break those chains?  Where do I get the motivation to exercise daily?  I decided to start here, with this word study.


If you have any self-control issues please join me.  Your thoughts, ideas, successes and/or failures are welcome in the comments.  Please stay on topic.

Heavenly Father, please help me as I study self-control to learn to manage every aspect of my life wisely, with thought and deliberation.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2009 at 9:56 am and is filed under inspirational, Word Study. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Self-Control – A Word Study – Day 1”

  1. April 28th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    hgh says:

    Nice post… will be back for more