“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22–23).
Genghis Khan’s view of leadership started with self-control. He believed self-control to be two-fold—the mastery of pride (which was harder to subdue than a wild lion) and the mastery of anger (which was harder to defeat than the greatest wrestler).*
I believe we should practice self-control in small things as practice for the biggies in life.
We can exercise self-control over our tongues when we’re tempted to gossip.
We can exercise self-control over our bodies when we’re tempted to indulge.
We can exercise self-control over our thoughts when we’re tempted to let them stray.
Then, if we are faced with something really hard, our practice, discipline, and self-control will kick in and enable us to do the right thing.
“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)
*Jack Weatherford, “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” (New York: Random House, 2004)