Author Les Parrot tells the following story that inspired me about self-control recently:
“In a small group I participated in some time ago, my friend who was leading gave some materials to a bad-tempered group member.
As he did so, he politely thanked the man with a sour disposition for being there. The man, however, did not even acknowledge it.
Afterward, I asked my friend about it.
“A sullen fellow, isn’t he?” I commented as we walked away.
“Oh, he’s that way every time we meet,” shrugged my friend.
“Then why do you continue being so polite to him?” I asked.
My friend replied, “Why should I let him control how I’m going to act?”
Too often, we allow external circumstances or people to control how we are going to act.
This is true even in our weight loss journey.
But if you are tired of being uprooted by your outward circumstances, then you need to know what it takes to grow the fruit of self control.
In that way, you can stay rooted no matter your outward circumstances or what other people do!
The key to developing self-control to create an environment that can nurture its growth. Self-control is a fruit of God’s Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).
As a Believer in Christ, you have the seed of self-control already on the inside of you. However, the crop yielded from that seed will depend upon the quality of the soil in which it is planted.
Imagine that you take two quality seeds and plant each of them into different environments.
You planted one seed into rich earth, full of nutrients and well-watered. It gets plenty of sunshine as well.
In contrast, you plant the other seed in a parched place with tons of rocks, shallow earth, weeds, and it rarely gets any sun.
Which seed do you think will flourish?
The first one of course!
You see, it wasn’t the quality of the seed that was the problem. The problem was the quality of the soil.
The soil’s quality determined if the seed would reach its fullest potential.
The good news is that God has given each of us the power to change the quality of the soil in which His seed is planted.
Here are 3 ways you can improve the quality of the soil and grow your self control. In this case, the soil is your heart.
1. Prayer. Prayer is simply maintaining a constant awareness of God’s presence and communicating with Him throughout the day. You speak with Him and allow Him to speak with you.
Your communication with Him should be a constant flow, a source of continual nourishment and refreshing.
As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Prayer is as vital to your Spiritual life as the blood flowing in your body is to your physical life. The minute the blood stops flowing, death starts to occur.
It’s the same with a plant. If the sap stops flowing through a plant, then that plant starts to die too.
Without prayer, rejoicing, and thankfulness, then you are planting God’s word in parched ground.
It will never reach its fullest potential and neither will your self control.
2. Vision. Do you have a vision of what you will look like with self-control fully grown? How will you act? How will you speak as a person of self-control?
Take a moment to think about some common situations you deal with every day.
As a person with self-control, what would be different in how you respond?
Creating this picture serves the same function as a picture on a packet of seeds.
Consider this: Seed sellers don’t put a picture of the seeds on the packet; they put a picture of the fully grown plant and its fruit!
So if you are buying tomato seeds, there will be a picture of the tomato plant with plenty of tomatoes.
If you lack self-control, then one of the reasons is because you don’t have a clear enough picture of what self-control looks like in your daily life. It is a vague concept in your mind with no connection to reality!
The way to resolve this is to think about situations that test your self-control in your daily life. Write down a picture of how self-control fully grown looks like in that situation.
- What thoughts would you think?
- What would you see in your imagination?
This is not a vain imagination, but one with a purpose. It is showing you the person you could be with God’s help.
If you ever get discouraged by how slow you think your self-control is growing, then take a look at the picture on your “seed packet.”
3. Weeding. Assess your ground regularly and remove anything that interferes with your self-control’s growth. For example, if you have foods in your environment that test you, then remove them. That’s weeding in action.
Think about this: Why waste energy fighting unnecessary food fights?
If you control those things you can control, then you will have energy and strength available for those unexpected events that test you – and be able to use this to overcome.
That’s a prime principle we cover in the Take Back Your Temple program.
Here’s another point about why it is important to weed. In Luke 17:21, Jesus said,
…For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
What is the kingdom of God? Romans 14:17 says,
…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Your new identity is as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21), so weed out any thoughts that try to tell you anything different.
Cultivate thoughts that lead to peace and joy, weeding out thoughts that lead to dis-ease and depression. You want to maximize your experience of God’s kingdom and create an environment that is friendly to Spiritual growth.
If you pay attention every day to Prayer, Vision, and Weeding then your self-control will grow. After all, it is planted in good ground!
Meditate upon Jesus’ wise words today:
And He said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come (Mark 4:26-29).”
When you submit to the growing process, you will gain the prize!
Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”
A good idea. I have lost from 240 to now 173.8 bls. Over last 3 years or so. I am a Christian but this sounds like a good way to think about ones body . Sugar is the main beast and still fight it on a daily basis. But I do think the Lord has given me strength to leave it alone. I praise him for that. This book sounds like a good on to read to draw me closer to God’s plan for me.
Thanks, Linda! As Romans 12:1-2 says, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. So change is not “one and done” but a daily process through the choices we make. As a believer in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit within to give us wisdom regarding the choices to make and the power to make them, day by day and choice by choice. In this way, God gets the glory!
Thank you very much Kimberly. Your article is resonating with me. Such an amazing and inspiring message
Wonderful, Bettye! May the Lord continue to bless you as you hear and do His word!
The truth you speak are awesome to the word of God in every situation in life there is an answer but you have to knock I have to seek knock and it shall be opened unto you seek and you shall fine thank you so much the answer is always been there you want self-control plant that seed of self-control to often as Christians we think God does it all he gives you the ability to do it all but he’s not gonna come down and take the food out of your mouth I praise God for his strength he has given me and self-control not just an eating but every area of your life thank you so much for your input
Amen, Angie – God is good!
Good research done!
I appreciate that, Lina!
Thank you, Mary – God is good!
Awesome, Ruthy! I am glad you found it helpful. God bless you!
You allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you with such grace and love. I can feel God’s love for me through your words. I have had the most success with my weight loss than I ever had and it has nothing to do with pounds. I feel so at peace. God has taken away my food anxiety (constantly thinking about food). Most people would not think that I am not over weight but I have had weight issues practically my entire life. I purchased your weight loss system and I did the 21 day Weight Loss Challenge God’s Way. It has been so empowering. I have been a Christian for many years and am ashamed to admit that I never thought to include God in my weight loss journey at this depth. I know He loves me and is concerned about every aspect of my life but I never connected Him with that part (Only the BIG stuff). It has truly humbled me and I feel so blessed to have found you. I pray that God continues to bless you as you go forth doing His will.
Thank you so much, Regina! I give God all the glory for the work He is doing in your life. May you continue to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers!
Thank you Kinberley, Just what I needed. Circumstances constantly influence my mood. Articles like this are a reminder to toughen up and wear my circumstance flak jacket at all times. God is my flak jacket.
Hi Karen, Thanks for your confirmation. Praise God that we don’t have to do this by our own power. We have the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Plus, God gives us His armor according to Ephesians 6, so we’ve got that shield of faith to quench the enemy’s fiery darts. We certainly need that in the times we live in!
Funny, but my first thoughts were not of food but rather people who chat and visit with one another during worship and praise time each church service. It is so distracting ( to me and irritating!) and disrespectful to the Lord ( in my opinion). Then the Lord spoke to my heart and said instead of wasting my time being aggravated at ” those people” ,…….pray for them, bless them, call good things into their lives. That way instead of being Distracted , I will be Attracted.i will be attracting the Love of God to work in and through me. That too is worshipping the Lord and developing self control in my life. I’m sure this will carry over into healthy eating also.
That is a great example, Sherry! Your second response certainly demonstrates God’s character, glorifying Him 🙂
This was perfect t Kimberly. I see clearly that I did lack vision. I just love the analogy of the seed package, and will take some time and think about what self control looks like in my life! Blessings!
That is awesome, Lorraine. As I was writing this, I realized that I lacked a picture of self control in a particular situation in my life. Getting that picture was very encouraging and I thank God for showing that to us!
Very inspiring and insightful article….thank you 🙂
You are welcome, Daphne – no one teaches like the Lord!