like a city broken down

Whoever has no rule over is own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.
Proverbs 25:28

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
 Proverbs 16:32

lack of self-control leaves you unprotected, and to be in control of yourself makes you more than a king. i love the comparison of controlling yourself to controlling a kingdom–it makes me think of all those myriad wants and desires and thoughts and feelings running amok in there like wild peasants.

i’ve been studying on self-control lately, and examining where i need more of it in my life. i think most people immediately jump to the idea of self-control in diet when they hear anything about self-control, but there is much more to it than that–

Areas where self-control is needed (from feminagirls):

Emotions: Anger, resentment, self-pity, receiving correction, listening, being submissive and respectful, etc. Though a woman can “blame” hormones for monthly outbursts, that does not excuse the outbursts. This means preventative prayer is needed. In other words, if you know you are more vulnerable certain times of the month, then pray the rest of the month that God will prepare you for that time when you are easily tempted.

Desires/Thoughts: Sexual, physical appetites; covetousness, worldliness. Self-control is also needed for a lack of desire as well.

Actions: The tongue, shopping and spending habits, nervous habits, food and drink, music and film, Bible reading and prayer, rising early, doing our duties.

i’m trying to be more aware of areas where my self-control is weak and where i struggle–and how to avoid situations where i tend to lose my self-control. at twentyseven years old, i know myself well enough to know where i struggle.  i know that sometimes too much time on social networking can cause me to struggle with feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. that postpartum hormones plus skipping lunch equals an unusually unwieldy tongue. that an entire cake in the house is never a good idea.

so sometimes this means i don’t keep sweets in the house. i delete facebook. i don’t window-shop my favorite store when there’s no extra money in the budget. not every situation where i’m going to struggle with my self-control is avoidable–hello, i live with three other wonderful sinful beautiful fallen creations–but part of self-control for me is side-stepping situations where i’m apt to lose it.

Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 
I Corinthians 9:25

self-control isn’t something that can originate in me though; it is a fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience…..and selfcontroh-oh-ol!), evidence of the work God is already doing in me. and while i do exercise these choices in avoiding areas where i lack selfcontrol, i avoid these areas because i believe that God has something better.

I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.
-Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

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