God has not given us a spirit of fear but one of power, love, a sound mind (one that exercises self-control and self-discipline) (2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified).
He asks us to use this self-control He has placed in us (Galatians 5:22-23) to say no to all ungodliness and worldly passions and to live upright and godly lives (Titus 2:11-14).
Self-control is the “restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions or desires. It is the ability to do what is right and to abstain from what is evil (Miriam Webster).
Paul uses the example of the athletes who prepare for the Isthmian Games. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV).
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.
I am currently trying to exercise self-control in the words that I use. The Bible is very clear that we aren’t to just say whatever we want whenever we want.
“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered” (Proverbs 17:27).
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3)
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 ESV)
“Be careful what you say and protect your life. A careless talker destroys himself.” (Proverbs 13:3, TEV)
As you can see I will need to Trust in the Lord and lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) so that I will have the faith, virtue, knowledge and self-control to clean up my mouth.
Father God, You have blessed us with the fruit of Your Spirit which includes self-control. Guide us and show us where you would like us to exercise this self-control in our lives. Thank You for Your Word which is always waiting to train us in what we need to know and to show us Who You are. In Jesus’ name amen.