Secrets of self-control (3)
“The grace of God…teaches us to say ‘No.’” Tit 2:11-12 NIV
Talk back to your feelings. We put far too much emphasis on our feelings. We think everything has to feel good or it’s not worthwhile. We say things like, “I don’t feel like studying…I don’t feel like working…I don’t feel like reading my Bible.” Or, “I feel like having another drink…I feel like sleeping until noon.” Don’t give your feelings so much authority. Feelings are highly unreliable; if you allow them, they will control and manipulate you. God doesn’t want you to be controlled by your feelings; He wants you to master your moods. With Christ as the Master of your life, you can master your feelings. Talk back to them. God says He wants you to learn how to challenge your emotions. “The grace of God…teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives” (vv. 11-12 NIV). God’s grace gives you the power to do what’s right. It gives you the ability to say no to that feeling, to that desire, to that impulse. Are you battling a weight problem? Before you ever walk into the kitchen and open the refrigerator door, you have already begun to talk to yourself about eating. If you are serious, you will have to challenge some of those subconscious attitudes about food. When you hear your mind saying, “I just have to have a snack or I’ll die,” you have to say, “No, I’m not going to die. In fact, I will be healthier if I don’t have a snack.” Bottom line: God’s supernatural power can help you to master your moods, thoughts, and desires.