Have you ever wanted to master a specific quality that you find to be one of your weaknesses? Have you ever wondered how some individuals have that specific quality as their strength or how that quality appears to be one of their strengths? What are the steps we need to take to achieve self-mastery?
First of all, we need to understand that temperance is a Christlike attribute that is possible for all of us to accomplish. Christ was the best example of temperance because He never sinned. He had complete self-mastery and self-control. It may seem impossible that we too can reach that type of control, but I promise you that we can. We have to put our trust in Christ and all our efforts into reaching our goals.
One of the focus scriptures I have chosen is 1 Corinthians 9:25
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
The key word is strive. Make every effort possible to master the natural man. We will fall and stumble because we are human. Christ wants us to turn to Him and utilize His atonement to obtain the strength and determination we need to keep going. We must recognize that we will make mistakes along the way and even after we feel we have achieved self-mastery, we might slip up one day when our guard is down.
Temperance includes anything from moral standards to addictions. Some moral standards may be easier to master than others, but addictions may take longer periods of time to achieve complete self-control. You may need a support group other than friends and family to get through your addiction, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Eating Disorders Anonymous. Your church may even sponsor an organization or may have developed similar programs to help individuals in the congregation. One such program is the Addiction Recovery Program.
Peer-pressure can be a stumbling block for many, especially if individuals are seeking acceptance from others at whatever age or circumstance they are experiencing. When I was in middle school, I remember that using bad language was the cool thing to do. Unfortunately, I gave in to the trend at the time. I knew the lyrics to several rap songs, and some of my friends and I thought it was funny to sing along to them because it was one of the taboo things our parents disapproved. I thought I was okay because I knew what situations I shouldn’t use bad language. Besides, it was only for fun. I didn’t see anything wrong with it until my thoughts started changing, and it became more of a habit. I don’t remember when it happened, but I finally decided that I needed to stop. It might have been during my early high school years. I turned to the Lord for help, and little by little, I cleaned up my language.
Another scripture that helps put the use of good versus bad language into perspective is 1 Peter 3:10:
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
Heavenly Father knows that language can impact us and others. Some of us may have been involved in gossip at some point or another. Whether you and your situation were the subject of gossip or you were the contributor to gossip, you know its effects. You also know what comforting words can do for you or someone who is feeling down. Take those two uses of language and expand it into all areas of your life. You can turn damaging words into uplifting words.
The following scripture has always reminded me of the steps necessary to become temperate in all things:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Those step are
Recognize your weakness
Come unto Christ to identify the purpose of your weakness
Have faith in Christ
Christ will guide and strengthen you to make weak things become strong
I would like to re-emphasize the ultimate goal for why we strive to be temperate in all things, “to obtain…a crown…incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25). It is not to obtain the praise of the world, but rather, to obtain all the blessings Heavenly Father wants to grant us for our efforts. Especially the blessings of eternal life. So don’t give up hope. Try harder. Pray harder. Plan harder. If you need help in setting goals for those qualities you would like to master, I encourage you to check out and sign-up for the Christlike Attributes Evaluation Challenge .
Please share your experiences of the strength you have found in coming to the Lord for help as you acknowledged your weaknesses as well as His power and love in helping you.
Review the Christlike Attributes series:
Eight Christlike Attributes for Our Spiritual Identity
How to Increase Virtue
How Gospel Knowledge Provides Stability and Strength