But I don’t WANT to give it up . . .

signal lightIt’s the final week of my Lenten fruit of the Spirit feast and I’m wrapping up with a toughie. Self-control. Here are some synonyms: self-discipline, self-restraint, willpower.

Let’s see how I’m doing. Bible reading and study–check. Keeping up with my blog–check. Keeping up with my writing–check. Completing tasks at work–check. Walking Thistle twice just about every day even when the weather’s not perfect–check.

Not snacking on junk between meals–uhhhh. Hmmm. Completing housekeeping tasks–weeeell . . . Exercising (beyond the dog walking)–I’m just SO busy. Being patient with and forgiving other people–aaagh!

Taking stock got me to thinking about the areas where my self-control is, um, lacking. And the REAL problem is that I don’t particularly want to control those areas. What I want is to eat donuts and munch on chips. I want the dust to magically disappear and my husband to clean the toilet. I want walking Thistle to be enough exercise for Pete’s sake. And I want people to act right so I don’t have to be patient or forgiving.

The areas where I’m doing reasonably well are areas I enjoy. I like my quiet time and hanging out with the Bible study girls. I like blogging and writing novels. I like my job. And I enjoy watching Thistle romp through the woods on our walks.

And that’s the problem with sin. When I sin? I usually like it. Maybe not later. Certainly not when I reap the harvest, but right then. Oh yeah.

So my lesson this week isn’t about self-control. It’s about God-control. Because clearly, I can’t do this. Never could. In order to control myself, I have to give up control and let God take over. And before I can do that, I have to want to. I have to want His plan for me more than I want a donut. And if I’m completely honest about it, all too often I want the donut more.

Romans 7:15 – I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

15 thoughts on “But I don’t WANT to give it up . . .

  1. Steve

    Will power is my biggest problem because I have too much of it. Actually, that’s not true. My biggest problem is the lack of won’t power.

  2. Gabrielle Meyer

    I totally get this. I was thinking something similar yesterday. In order to control an area of my life I have to first WANT to control it. It takes dedication, energy, commitment and focus. It’s not something I’ll naturally do, so I need to be intentional and seek God’s strength, or it will never happen.

      1. sestasik

        Ah. This. Sometimes I think my prayer should be for change to my interest and not asking for more will power. Sort of like, “God, I think we can both agree I’m awful at this not eating cake thing. Perhaps you could make it less enjoyable for me to eat cake.”

  3. Mom

    I appreciate Steve’s “spin.” Yes will power (I will be good) = won’t power (I won’t be bad.) Alas, I’m not real great at it either way… especially when it comes to eating OR exercise.

  4. I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E chocolate and DIet Coke. I’m severely hypoglycemic, I can’t even eat grapes and not feel ILL. Two of the worst things for me are…chocolate and Diet Coke.
    I simply MUST quite the Diet Coke. Grrr.
    I cannot do it alone.

  5. I’m not sure if you do indded have to want to give up control. Doing what you want to do is easy, but giving up control when you’d rather not, and especially if you think you can do a better job, is the biggest test of faith.

    In the end it’s about making the choice to do what you know you must, and to live in that decision, reaffirming it from one moment to the next.

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