Developing good habits of self-control takes practice and encouragement. For healthy living and relationships, we often need to exercise self-control in what we consume, how we react emotionally or engage in physical or intellectual activity and even in how we think. Self-control is like a muscle and the more we exercise it the better we become at it. Being conscious of those times where we are called to act with self-control is a first step in becoming more thoughtful in our responses. When we understand and are committed to why we need to exercise self-control there is a greater likelihood of success.
Where self-control relates to personally held values, the why, becomes an integrated unconscious part of who we are. When our values grow from a place of love and respectfulness of other people and a genuine appreciation of the gifts God has given us, we can gently grow our capacity for self-control. Like all muscles it is also important that we have times of rest. At any time during the day we can take a quiet moment to rest in God’s grace and reset.