Galatians 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
A simple two letter word that most of us have great difficulty executing when needed.
How often, when we are tempted, do we immediately put on the breaks and give ourselves a quick, determined “NO?” How many times this past week did our carnal desires win out?
What is the problem with saying NO to ourselves? Are we afraid of missing out on something? Afraid to hurt someone else’s feelings? Fearful of what others may think of us? Or are we such a narcissist that we believe we are God’s best gift to mankind?
Sometimes I even shock myself to discover how little self-control I exercise in my daily walk. I want; I expect; I deserve; I don’t care; me, me, me – It’s all about me.
Whew! When the ugliness comes alive, and this old man fumigates the room, everyone needs to disappear. Otherwise, my two-year old nature surfaces and he has a very strong self-centered ego which gets him into trouble at times.
Yes, those were the younger days when I didn’t even realize I had a problem with self-control. “No” was only a word in the dictionary and reserved for two-year old children. It took a few years plus God’s Spirit to open my eyes and see the ugliness of a life without self-control.
For example, I could eat a gallon of ice cream or a large bag of chips in one sitting without any known ramifications. I could work 24 hours without sleep for days and not talk with family members or friends; just be strictly focused on what I was doing.
I did whatever I wanted without considering the consequences to myself and others. My sole purpose was to satisfy me, myself, and I.
Thankfully, the Spirit would slap some sense into me. Realizing my self-narcissistic tendency, I started a repentance process that even continues to this day. With the assistance of the Holy Spirit and His fruit of self-control, I may still struggle at times, but have learned the great joy of saying “No” to the self.
The short-term struggle now most often leads to a long-term satisfaction found only in Jesus Christ. Those of us born in the United States definitely struggle with an over-abundance of material and choices which make being a Christ-follower more challenging at times then our brothers and sisters in third-world development countries.
Yet the battle is the same for both of us. We learn to deny ourselves and allow the Spirit to work in us and through us for the glory of God. The end result is always best for you and I for the long term. “No” may be a short two-letter word, but the impact of a properly placed “No” is the beginning of allowing our Triune God to complete His purpose of producing a spiritual masterpiece in you and I. Therefore, use wisely.
Rooting For You in Christ!
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