I think I can, I think I can, I … uh …

Etta Mae Lopez had tried to stop smoking on more than one occasion, but she had always failed.

Confident of her lack of self-control, Lopez waited outside Sacramento County’s main jail until a sheriff’s deputy came out. Then she approached the deputy and slapped him.

Lopez was arrested for battery on a peace officer, which was exactly what she wanted to happen. Knowing persons are not allowed to smoke inside the jail, Lopez thought getting arrested would be a good way to make up for her lack of self-control over her habit of smoking.

It appears Lopez didn’t think through her plan very well. She will soon be free from jail, and will once again find herself free from restrictions and having to exercise self-control over thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

God’s design for our lives is not for us to be so weak that we cannot purposely give direction to our free will and our decisions for the good of ourselves and others. In fact, the Bible teaches us a lack of self-control leaves us vulnerable, and that God enables us to have the self-control we need to make positive choices …

“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls,” Proverbs 25:28.

“22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline,” 2 Timothy 1:7.

But what about those times when we really are just too weak to overcome by our own discipline what we’re faced with? In those times, God steps in to help His children.

temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than
you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that
you can endure,”
1 Corinthians 10:13.

Are you wisely exercising the capacity for self-control God has enabled you with? Or are you looking for something external to compel your decision-making?