Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Beauty of Self-Control

Self-control is not a scary and valiant pledge of obedience to do something difficult. “I promise to be good, God!” Self-control means living in keeping with who we have become—actual Spirit-born sons of God. And it means living like that with everyone else. But when we’re not impressed with who we are, self-control feels like a fight to become something we’re not yet, like a bad person having to become a good person, an impossible work we have to create. Instead, we are each a work already done. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-11)

(Excerpted from my book, God’s Astounding Opinion of You, chapter 14: Stripping Mummies—Finding Freedom and Life Outside the Tomb.​ook.html)


  1. Sarah Joy Oaklief9:44 AM

    Totally needed that this morning, Ralph. I feel like this is a daily fight for me. In other areas of my life, I have experienced SO, SO much freedom, but not this one.

  2. Rebecca Johanson Lucas12:52 PM

    Thanks for the link, I just ordered your book! :)

  3. Nicole Peterson12:59 PM

    Ralph, you have no idea how much I miss hearing you every week!!!

  4. Woody Woodward3:59 PM

    If self-control is the "fruit of the Spirit", and the battle is between flesh and Spirit, then I wonder if self-control is very simply: Spirit controlling self? Self-control never happens when I try to live in keeping with who God says I am (self-discipline); it happens when He causes it to happen. The chasm is as wide as the difference between intentional and instinctual. And instinctual is miracle... as natural as breathing.

  5. Well said, Woody. As you know, I love being filled and controlled by God who lives in me and with whom I am in union. It’s my favorite thing. Knowing who I am because of Him produces faith in me and “moves me” toward Him. In that fascination and wonder, He produces fruit—the life of Christ in me.