But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control…. II Peter 1:5-6
How many of us would like to have more self-control? It’s one of the biggest determining factors of whether we succeed or fail in our endeavors in life. Every relationship is defined by it. Our mental and physical well-being is defined by it. Our reputation is defined by it. Our level of prosperity can be defined by it. With something so powerful that defines so much of our life, no wonder we want more of it. However, though we may want more of it, do we really want to do what it takes to get more of it? Do we really want it bad enough to be proactive instead of reactive? To learn self-control instead of self-indulgence?
It’s easy the be reactive. It takes no thought or concern for the impact our actions will have on others or the future. Just self-indulge in what feels good at the time and don’t worry about the lasting consequences. There’s no forethought, no work to do beforehand to prepare for life. Just live out your every whim and desire letting everything work itself out. Sounds like an Utopian way to live — and it would be IF all our whims and desires were perfect, good, and holy. Yet, we know this is not the case.
We have desires that are imperfect, bad, and unholy so we must rely on our self-control to hinder us from doing things that are harmful. This is where being proactive comes into play. We must give thought or concern how our actions will impact others and the future. We must refrain from what feels good at the time and consider the consequences. We must give forethought and do the work to prepare for our everyday life. We must live by standards instead of by our every whim and desire. This is not the easy path, but is the one that requires determination to build a successful life.
Being proactive begins with asking the question, “Who do you want to be?” and then actively pursuing the answer with a good foundation and effective strategies. It is a lifelong process that will build more self-control day by day. You can start learning how by reading “Who Do You Want to Be?” and applying the concepts and strategies in this writing to your daily life.
Want to add self-control? Commit to the hardwork of being proactive instead of reactive.
My perfect, good, and holy Father, I recognize that I need self-control because my desires can be imperfect, bad, and unholy. This is why I choose to be proactive instead of reactive in my daily life; why I choose to give forethought instead of acting on my every whim. I want to be someone who loves You with their whole heart, soul, and mind. This is what my success is in life and it is this that will guide me into the answers of how to actively pursue the best ways to daily gain more self-control. And in gaining more self-control, I will gain not only its benefits in this life, but even more abundantly in the eternal life to come. Praise You, God, for making every fleshly denial worth it! Amen!
Truth in love,
See also A New Year Focus