by Rick Warren
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV).
There’s nothing you can do as well without Christ as you can with him. Any struggle you’re facing will be easier to conquer with his help.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to clean up all your messes before you ask God for help. That’s like curing yourself of a disease before you go see the doctor. Go to God first and get his help in all your battles.
The secret of self-control is Christ’s control. Then, as you face temptations that are too strong for you to resist, remember he is with you and turn them over to him. Remember, Christ provides the power to change your life!
But there are two things you must still do to develop self-control:
Avoid temptation. It is just pure common sense: Don’t put yourself in situations where you’ll face temptation. If you struggle with alcohol, don’t go into a bar. If you’re struggling to lose weight, don’t load the refrigerator with ice cream. Do whatever you must to avoid temptation.
Make yourself accountable. Find someone who will check up on you, pray for you, and encourage you in the areas where you want to develop more self-control. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (NIV).
If you’re serious about self-control, find another believer you trust and say,
“I have this problem. I’ve confessed it to God. I’ve asked forgiveness, and now I want to ask you to help me. Will you be my ‘buddy,’ a person I can call on the phone when I need support and encouragement?”
I believe God intends for every church to be filled with “buddy” relationships where people are accountable to each other, where they help and encourage each other in the Lord.
Having someone hold you accountable is tough, but it works.