Updated: Jun 5
This excerpt, drawn from our broader exposition on "Contemplation: The Purgative Way," extends our exploration into the territory of self-control, a critical milestone in our spiritual journey.
Upon embracing the grace of faith, learning the significance of God's reverence, and journeying through the avenue of repentance, our next crucial step involves taming our desires and severing our worldly attachments. But the linchpin of this process rests on the ability to regulate our thoughts. This sentiment echoes throughout spiritual literature and forms the backbone of Jesus's teachings. We can start by harnessing the power of Mindfulness, observing our own internal landscape, and focusing particularly on our thought patterns.
Developing self-control is a highly personalized skill, its nuances unique to each individual. Each of us must discover techniques that resonate with us. I've found solace and guidance in prayer, affirmations, self-hypnosis, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and meditation. Additionally, I employ "The Sedona Method," which aids me in letting go of unhelpful thoughts. You might find my list of resources extensive, yet the tools you choose can vary widely. But no matter the specifics of your strategy, the most effective route to self-control is through God's grace. Prayer and Bible Study should form the cornerstones of your practice.
The Book of Titus (2:11-12) enlightens us with this divine wisdom:
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly..."
Self-control is not merely an exercise in personal restraint but a reflection of divine wisdom. Proverbs 29:11, along with Proverbs 1:1-5, signifies this, presenting self-control as the hallmark of the wise.
Moreover, self-control transcends being an individual virtue and emerges as a testament to Christian character. Galatians 5:22-23 underlines this sentiment, along with passages from 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8, Titus 2:2, 5-6, and 2 Peter 1:5-9.
In the journey toward spiritual growth and divine alignment, self-control is both a step and a destination. It is a balancing act between the world within and the world without, a dance between the mundane and the divine, a testament to the harmony achievable between human will and God's grace.