A Prayer for Self-Control
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Heavenly Father, we live in a world which encourages us to indulge in every whim, but you are calling us to rise above us. Please, teach us the virtue of self-control.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
The book of Judges tells of a man named Samson, who was so strong he could kill a lion with his bare hands (14:5-6). He possessed physical strength unequalled by any human being. But this could not compensate for his inner weakness.
All of us have areas of weakness. God wants these character flaws to show us how totally dependent we are upon Him. When we handle them properly, they drive us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord. But uncontrolled weakness wreaks havoc in a person’s life.
Samson’s Achilles’ heel was uncontrollable lust. Although he was raised in a godly home and had a clear calling in life, he gave in to his desires and deliberately violated the truth he knew so well. Despite Nazirite laws forbidding involvement with foreign women, Samson pursued a harlot in Gaza (16:1). Later, he met a woman named Delilah, and even though her motives were blatantly treacherous, he gave himself over—heart, mind, and spirit—to sexual indulgence. He was in such bondage to the sin that he ultimately allowed it to dictate his actions, even at the cost of his life.
Before he died, Samson lost everything: his strength, eyesight, and honor. The man who once led his country mightily became a slave to his enemies (vv. 18-25).
What is your weakness? Is it lust, insecurity, fear, greed, gossip, or pride? Personality flaws can be a powerful motivation for good or ill, depending on our response. A proclivity for sin can ruin your life—as it did Samson’s—or drive you to utter dependence on God. The outcome is up to you.
Dear Lord, help us to know ourselves. Teach us to recognize our weaknesses and work to walk in holiness. Let us repent, and follow you in all things. Thank you for your unending grace and mercy toward us when we need it most. Help us to trust you with our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Editor’s Note: The following is an abridged version of “Uncontrolled Weakness” by Dr. Charles Stanley. To read the full devotional, follow this link!
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