Secrets of Success: #8 Control Yourself

On the first Monday of each month when my children were in high school, I wrote a letter to them describing a secret of success in life.  Recently I compiled a year’s worth of secrets into a small book.  Secrets of Success is a great gift for graduates and a practical study for youth groups.  To give you a glimpse, I posted Secret #8 here.An absolute essential for success in life is the ability and willingness to control yourself. Without self-control, you will not be able to make the hard choices for a positive future. Paul encourages you to be self-controlled (I Thessalonians 5:6, 8). He tells both young and old to lead godly, self-controlled lives (Titus 2:5, 6, 12).Three areas often need extra efforts at self-control:

1. Your mind.

What happens in your mind affects who you are and what you do. The Word says that you must control your mind and what you think (I Peter 1:13), renew your mind (Romans 12:2), and set it on things above (Colossians 3:2). As you control your mind, you will be in proper control of your life.

2. Your body.

What you eat, how you care for your body, and your view and use of sex—these all matter to God. Paul writes that you need to submit your body to God, giving it to Him for His guidance and care (Romans 12:1). In another place, Paul goes further and tells us to submit our bodies to God, and not to sin (Romans 6:1). He also reminds you that your body is a temple (a dwelling-place, a home) of God. He urges you to flee immorality and honor God with your body (Corinthians 6:18-20 and 9:27).

3. Money.

Since money is essential for life, the ability to use it well - with discipline - is also essential. The Bible tells you to give back to the Lord (Proverbs 3:9-10) and warns against loving money (I Timothy 6:10). Proverbs encourages you to be prudent (careful), to gather your money little by little and to use it wisely (Proverbs 13:11; 6:6-11; 8:18-21).The wonderful thing is that God doesn’t expect you to control yourself in your own power; His Holy Spirit gives you the power (Galatians 5:23; II Timothy 1:7).My prayer is that you will walk in the control of the Spirit.How about you?  What area of self control is most challenging for you?c2011 Judy DouglassYou can order Secrets of Success in the US from New Life Resources.  In Asia, you can order from CCC Mass Media.