WoW 132: On self-control [Words of Wisdom]

Words of Wisdom, Email Newsletter

Plant seeds of wisdom today

Take the next 31 or so breaths slowly and reflect deeply on your life. I hope these words help you grow in you the most valuable treasure in life: wisdom. Wisdom grows imperceptibly but flourishes like a mighty oak, standing the test of time.

WoW 132: On self-control

Listen instead of reading

If you prefer listening, you can subscribe to the audio version on Spotify,
Apple Podcasts, or Google, or your favorite podcast player.

Feel free to leave me a positive review if you like what you hear! It really helps me spread the message.

Listen to every Words of Wisdom ever recorded.


"Like a city wall whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control."
(Proverbs 25:28 NIV)

I used to pray and plead that God would take away my selfish sexual desire. What I didn't realize at the time was that God was inviting me to something far greater: the hard labor of developing self-control. You grow resilient only through lifting and intentionally working on the foundational character stones of faith, integrity, courage, love, and true knowledge. Through joyful surrender to God and taking courageous action I've seen God develop that last fruit of the Spirit, self-control in my life. Only by building a strong wall will you be able to withstand the attacks of the Evil One.

Some observations of Proverbs 25:28.

  • You are responsible for your own life. You’re the city.
  • Life is war. You are under attack.
  • Attack can come from any direction. Self-control must be comprehensive.
  • Self-control, the ability to say no or to manage my emotions and urges for immediate pleasure is defensive and protective.
  • There may not be an immediate pay off, but it allows for the internal life, other virtues, to grow.
  • A compromise in self-control leads to destruction. Sometimes the timeline is quick, sometimes the seeds of destruction takes years to bear fruit, but they always do.
  • Your wall doesn’t determine your worth, but it is critical for your flourishing and safety.
  • In times of peace, prepare for war by growing in self-control.


"The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world."

Oswald Chambers, ​My Utmost for His Highest​

“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

Leon Trotsky, Quoted in Michael Walzer, ​Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations​


What is an area in your life where you most need to grow in self-control?

What lies or beliefs do you need to surrender to God? Are you willing to surrender your struggle and any strongholds to im today?

How can you glory in God’s love and strength today?

(Use these questions as a journal prompt and to guide your prayers this week)


In turns out God is interested in your resilience, not just your avoidance of sin.

Live wisely,


Did someone send this to you? Do you want to cultivate more of the good, true, courageous, and beautiful in your life?

​Join the growing community​ and subscribe to receive my Words of Wisdom every Wednesday.

Continue reading

A woman thoughtfully holds a glowing orb.
Our newsletter

Do you hear the call of wisdom?

How you respond to the call of wisdom determines the direction of your life.

Get the Words of Wisdom email every Wednesday: brief reflections on wisdom to help you grow in the skills of virtuous living.