Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Galatians 5: 22-23).
Character Focus: Self-Control
As we head into a time of thankfulness, celebration, holidays, I would like to leave you with some thoughts considering self-control.
If you were to observe people at a mall, you would most likely find the majority of the population connected to information and environments through a device. I am sure we have all witnessed hilarious videos of individuals that have accidentally fallen and/or ran into objects due to this distraction. For this conversation, I would like to name those individuals as “head-down” people. The truth is that reality cannot compete with the exciting and flashy information, entertainment, and humor that is available and in abundance at all hours. To move from “head-down” to “head-up” will take self-control. How can we resist the attraction to be distracted by entertainment and be in the present? This temptation is a skill that will be difficult to unlearn.
This issue is rampant within our culture. I am sure we have all witnessed a thousand times where one individual pulls out their phone so others do as well. One “head-down” person can precipitate a wave of “head-down” followers. The “head-up” movement will begin with self-control and the resistance to continual self-indulgence and distraction.
Similarly, educators are constantly competing with “head-down” distractions. Educators can try to compete by being more entertaining and flashy, but they will fail. The student must use self-control to resist the access and distraction available at the touch of a button to remain present physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In this holiday season it is even more critical that we build relationships with loved ones because we aren’t sure what the future holds. Engaging in meaningful conversation where two people are physically, mentally, and emotionally present is a dying norm.
In both education and events with others use self-control to remain as a “heads-up” individual so others feel valued.
From a Christian perspective, we are not made of this world. Because of this, we should not give into out bodily desires. Self-control could be looked at as the absence of action. According to the bible, knowledge leads to self-control, self-control leads to perseverance, and perseverance leads to Godliness (2nd Peter 1). Before self-control is knowledge. What areas in your life do you need self-control in?
While resisting being distracted and remaining as a “heads-up” individual is helpful, other areas in our lives could use self-control. Some of these areas include: the use of our tongue, drinking of alcohol, lustful thoughts and desires, time management with work and hobbies, prioritization of our budget, and much more.
How have you seen self-control effective in your life?
Dr. Nathan Herzog