Joyful Self-Control

It’s been a month-long joyride on our mission toward #SelfControl. Congrats to Carolyn and Joann for being our giveaway winners! I hope these resources cultivate the fruit of self-control in your lives.

Continuing my year long quest to find more joy in life, I realized it is possible to find joy in self-control. But let’s begin by saying joyful self-control seems like an oxymoron in my mind.

Self-control is not typically joyful for me. It usually involves denial or a difficult change in behavior or habits. So how do we find joy in cultivating self-control?

Not by our own power.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7

If it was up to me alone, I’d be interrupting, telling everyone what to do and sharing my opinion constantly. I’d eat everything, never exercise, spend all my money and do whatever felt right. But thankfully God has another plan for me (and you!) A juicy byproduct of His gift of faith in Jesus as our Savior is the fruit of self-control.

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. ~1 Peter 1:13

The more we stay connected to Him, the more we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, including self-control. Left to my own sinful ways, I do what I please. But because of faith, I now WANT to do things His way. We can’t on our own, but can with the help of God.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. ~Galatians 5:16

Here’s how I found Joy in Self Control this month:

  • Partnering with Kelly Basham to study self-control proved enlightening and fruitful. We explored self-control in the Bible, discussed fear and habits and gave away our favorite resources to help others. It was a joyful collaboration!
  • Learning to let go amid travel, family time and celebrations. I like to be in control and letting go is tough. But with growing children, it’s a necessary (and joyful) lesson to learn over the next few years.
  • Experiencing joyful growing pains as I let go. Knowing God is instilled deep within my children’s souls gives me great joy as I let them go. I found joy in celebrating milestones and cheering their accomplishments as they dream of their futures. I’ll continue to need His daily guidance as I let go, but I’m determined to find joy along the way.
  • Appreciating a new season. Spring has sprung and it’s definitely bringing me joy. A gray, rough season is brightening in many ways here. Some bumps still need to be navigated, but it’s joyful to know others are in the rearview mirror. I’m remembering the self-control lessons learned and moving onward with joy.
  • Submitting daily to God to cultivate the gift of self-control. I admit I don’t always do this immediately; I’m a work in progress. Understanding His path isn’t always clear, but consistently connecting to Him increases my desire to do His will. In this I find joy.
  • Trusting The Gardener of my life. As with any fruit bearing plant, pruning is necessary for an abundant harvest of fruit. God’s pruning of my own ways is not always easy or enjoyable. But I know it’s essential for faithful following. In the pruning of my will, I find abundant joy as I grow stronger, healthier, and closer to reflecting Him in the beautiful fruit I bear.[tweetthis]In the pruning of my will, I find #joy as I reflect Him & bear His fruit #SelfControl[/tweetthis]

Finding Joy in self-control has deepened my awareness that this life is not all about me.

It’s not about my desires, but how I can better follow His.

It’s not about my ability to control but submitting to His.[tweetthis]The fruit of #SelfControl is not about my ability to control but submitting to His.[/tweetthis]

Joyful self-control is found in obediently heeding directives in God’s Word. Understanding this allows me to better reflect Him in the fruit I bear.

Finding joy in busy, celebratory, difficult and pruning times has been a whirlwind. But following His footprints and listening to His still small voice in that whirlwind is what matters. Obediently taking those steps and hearing Him requires self-control found only in Him.

The added benefit is finding joy along the way.

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.  ~1 Corinthians 10:13

Linking up with Crystal Twaddell at #FreshMarketFriday

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2 thoughts on “Joyful Self-Control”

  1. I’ll have to go back and read other posts in the series when I have a chance. Great topic. And I love how you say it- Yes, when we want what He wants, self-control is joyful! 1 Peter 1:13 also makes me so happy. Thanks!

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