This is the final topic of the Fruit of the Spirit. It has to do with self-control. "Boys will be boys" and "it just happened..." or "we were just having fun and then things got out of control" are all phrases I hear teenagers say when things go wrong. I had a chance to talk with a teen a couple of weeks ago about getting intimate in relationships and what to watch out for. He said "sometimes you can get caught up in the moment and things just happen". I was like "yeah, you're right but sometimes if you don't put yourself in situations where things 'just happen', you can keep from losing control". I told him that we aren't wild animals and we have control of our bodies, our thoughts, & emotions. Sure, we are going to have that bozo cut us off in traffic or some other idiot that says something crazy making us want to give them a few choice words or a punch in the face but the bottom line is we ultimately have control over how we respond. So, what do we do when things are on the verge of spiraling out of control? Here are a few tips to help you remain in control:
Think about the consequences. Do you know how your decisions affect you (and others for that matter)? The phrase "well I didn't know..." doesn't amount to much. Take a moment to stop and think about how losing control can cost you.
Be careful of your influences. If you listen to a bunch of romantic music or watch a ton of romantic movies, expect romantic feelings. Whatever you see and listen to has an affect on you so watch out.
Hang out with the right people. Who you hang out with can tell a lot about who you are and what you do. If you don't want to go down the wrong road, don't walk with people that are going down the wrong road.
Don't play around with drugs & alcohol. There is nothing good that can come out of underage drinking and drug use. Wanna lose control? Drink and use drugs and you're guaranteed to almost every time.
Don't let your feet taking your butt where it shouldn't be. If you know parties have a chance of getting out of hand, don't go no matter how lame you may seem.
There are plenty of people waiting to have control over you and trust me, if you don't have control over yourself, someone else will (like your parents, the po-po, prison, your boss, etc.). Do the right thing and make smart decisions without losing control.
Written 6/22/2014 by John Weaver