Secrets of self-control (4)
Start believing you can change. Your beliefs control your behaviour. The way you think determines the way you feel. And when your feelings become strong enough, they determine the way you act. The person who says ‘I can’t do it,’ and the person who says, ‘I can do it,’ are both right. Much of the time you set yourself up to be defeated by what you’re saying, because your words reinforce either your right or wrong belief system. Three times in 1 Peter, God reminds us to be clear-minded and self-controlled. Why? Because a clear mind is essential to self-control. God gave us the power to change our habits when He gave us the power to choose our thoughts. Does Romans 12:2 tell us to be transformed by working until we faint or by white-knuckled willpower? No. What are we transformed by? The renewing of our minds. When your self-control’s tested, you need to fill your mind with the promises of God. Here’s one: ‘When you are being tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’ (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV). Believe God when He says there’s a way out for you. Paul writes, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ That means you can change, and you can be different.
Don’t set yourself up for failure with thoughts like ‘I’m no good. I just have no control over my life.’ Nagging yourself won’t work. Have a Bible verse ready to throw back at your thoughts: ‘Everything is possible for him who believes’ (Mark 9:23 NIV).