Friday, March 8, 2013


A phrase I've heard and seen a lot of lately...

"You mad?" or "You mad, bro?" left on fb and blog threads from trolls sensing someone is about to go over the edge.

I often find myself getting mad at the slightest things.  I was working on a project at the kitchen table while my wife and 4 year-old daughter were eating lunch.  I couldn't get the paper I was working on formatted right.  I had a 1pm deadline and was racing against the clock.  I was frustrated more than normal because I had allotted plenty of time to get the work done.  I was not expecting to have a problem formatting a WORD document!!!  After the sixth time of trying to get it right I slammed my hand on the table for the third time and shouted "WHAT IS THE PROBLEM!"  

My daughter stopped eating her yogurt, turned to her mom and said, "I don't like him."

My wife quickly corrected her by saying "You just don't like the way he is acting."

The truth of the matter is I don't like him either!

The other irony is I was preparing a handout for an after school club I lead.  The topic the kids wanted to discuss? SELF CONTROL.  Fitting.

So if your like me and yourself mad, bro, don't be discouraged.  After putting this together with my friend Rob, the kids said it really helped them get a handle on some things.

Lack of Self-Control begins in the mind

Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. James 1:14-15 (The Message)

Many times we blame our outbursts on others.  We say things like "If you had to deal with him/her you would lose it too!" We need to stop putting the blame on others and see it for what it is...our own sinful nature and desire for control.

Lack of Self-Control can lead to destructive messages…

It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. James, the half-brother of Jesus (The Message, James 3:5-6)

This passage is so powerful. James says that misplace words can set destinies.  Think about how someone's negative comments or put downs have the ability to crush your spirit.  In the same way, think about how encouraging words from peers bring life.  Not controlling our tongue can have a devastating effect on those closest to us.

Lack of Self-Control can lead to destructive patterns    

It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory. A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (King Solomon from Proverbs 25:27-28)

When we fail to control our emotions, we become unprotected and wrecked.

Lack of Self-Control can lead to wasted opportunities

Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work! Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing. (Words of King Solomon-The Message) 

Solomon used little self-control.  He confessed that all it gained him was nothing but wasted opportunities.


Be alert...
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
a. Know what situations trigger you

b. Know there are people that bait you

c. Know the times and places where your most likely to lose your cool

d. Know that the devil is real and is trying to wreck your life!

Be part of a winning team
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
a. Surround yourself with people that sharpen you

b. Be bold enough to challenge each other when we let our emotions get the best of us

Be honest…
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:7)
a. Admit you need help

b. Don't beat yourself up when you blow it

c. Seek forgiveness

Be different…

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 The Message)
a. Don't be like everyone else who shows their immaturity by losing control

b. Trust God to change you

Be ready to win…
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence… (2 Peter 1:3)  

God created you with everything you need to win, trust Him and trust JESUS!!


  1. Great words, bro.

    I'll be bookmarking this page for later reference.

  2. I am reminded of the powerful words of another great prophet:

    Dear hate, I know you're not far
    You would wait at the door of my heart
    I was amazed at the passion in your cries
    Dear anger, you made me so high
    You were faithful to show up on time
    Such a flame that was burning in your eyes

    Have you felt that? The seductive appeal of relenting to the flesh, of giving flesh full rein. But then...guilt, destruction, severed ties, hurt feelings, pain.

    Galatians 5 says that one of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. How does fruit grow? By abiding in the vine (John 15). How do we 'abide'? Obey (John 15). First we have to know what we're supposed to be obeying. 2 Peter 1:6 says to add self-control to knowledge, so first we have to know. Then it says to add perseverance to self-control, so keep doing it. When it would feel SO GOOD to react in the flesh - keep doing it. When the other person DOESN'T DESERVE IT - keep doing it. When you know you're justifiably right, make sure you stay right - keep doing it.

    But what about when it feels like it's crushing your own spirit? How do we bear up under the weight of all these things (what are they?) that conspire with our flesh, or actually are our flesh, to forcibly push us into sinful thoughts and deeds?

    If I'm treated unfairly, or more accurately, if I perceive that I'm being treated unfairly - somebody's gonna know, real quick. I am such the great and mighty judge of all that is wrong before me. In that moment, to bite my tongue, to just STOP for a second, or a minute, and think, think real hard...I mean, there's such a hurricane of emotions and chemicals going on that I often will still react in the wrong way.

    That's when I need your instructions under Be Honest. But my favorite is Be Part of a Winning Team. We have to have other people in our lives, whom we trust, whom we can confide in, who can point out things in our life we possibly don't even see, and who can offer good, Godly advice while at the same time being able to totally relate and have sympathy for our struggle. Truth and grace.

    Thanks for being one of those.