Will Power or Self-Control

As a Recovery Coach I want to give my clients pull through for their goals with the most strength as possible.  So do they use will power or self-control?   A simple definition of willpower: the ability to control yourself: strong determination that allows you to do something difficult (http://www.merriam-webster.com).  I always see this as using sheer grit to get through a very hard task.  It reminds me of the Navy Seals’ recruit training with them all in the ocean making their way to shore,” I am almost there, I am almost there” goes through their minds.   Will power is great as I can apply it right now, but alas for most of us it is not enough.   Remember our step of admitting that we are powerless over our addiction.  If will power were the full answer I wouldn’t be where I am. 

On the other hand what about using self-control to accomplish the task? Merriam Webster defines self–control:  restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires.  Isn’t that what we are after?  How can I increase my self-control?   The Bible states that self-control and a lot of other wonderful things come from us giving control over to the Holy Spirit, letting the Holy Spirit work and transform us, teaching us the truth.  The ever-bearing fruit of this relationship is show in “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)  Fruit doesn’t instantly form it grows develops and matures.

 As we heal we want the Holy Spirit to grow self-control in our lives, which is why spiritual disciplines are so very important.  The Holy Spirit works through those times developing our self-control muscles strengthen, stretching and building.  When tests come we are in shape to curb and turn away from heading down the wrong path.  The sad part is without continuing this lifelong spiritual self care of working on our self-control we are prone to live as “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (Proverbs 25:28 ESV)

The marriage of both will power (our grit) and Holy Spirit derived self-control gives us the authority to overcome and battle our addiction thus stopping way ahead of the pull towards straying or relapse.  Are you exercising your muscles today?


© Peter Durkee 2015