“Make every effort to add to your faith…self-control.” 2Pe 1:5-6 NIV
If you’ve the faith to believe, the moment you pray for salvation you receive it. It doesn’t work that way with self-control. Yes, you should pray for it, but Peter writes, “Make every effort to add to your faith…self-control.” It only becomes a reality when you “make every effort” to practice it daily. And here are three areas in life that will test you: (1) Your temper. Having red hair and Irish ancestry is no excuse for a short fuse and an explosive temper. The Bible says, “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Pr 16:32 NIV). When you lose your temper, you lose respect and credibility with others. (2) Your time. Time is the stuff life is made of, and wasted time really is wasted life. It takes time to build relationships, learn skills, execute meaningful actions, achieve goals, and fulfill plans. A mismanaged life is often the result of mismanaged time. (3) Your tongue. The Bible says, “Let your speech be always with grace” (Col 4:6). Every day brings new opportunities to control your tongue; if you’re wise you’ll take them! And if you must speak, let this scriptural principle govern what you say: “Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in conversation, not put them down, not cut them out” (v. 6 TM). Benjamin Franklin put it this way: “Would you live with ease, do what you ought and not what you please.” The word for you today is “make every effort” to control your temper, your time, and your tongue.