The Power of Self Control for 2023

self control
Newton Fairweather Pastor, Faith and Joy Church, and CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin

Are you excited about the coming 2023 new year? Thousands and thousands of people will gather all around the world to celebrate this moment, whether in Sydney, Australia, or in New York at the New Year’s Eve Times Square countdown. This tradition has been around for as long as I can remember. Caught in the frame of our hearts and mind, it is almost like a Disney moment. 

Self control for 2023

We wait so long for this one-minute countdown, and it goes by so quickly. People often go back to doing what they had been doing before, back to old habits. Just look back to January 1, 2022, and you still might see some of those old habits you had committed to change last year. Let’s call it, “Living on Someday Island.” If I ask most of the readers of this article, what would they like to change in 2023, the list would be extensive, too long to mention everything. Therefore, let’s talk about a few things that can help change your projection for 2023. 


Move off “Someday Island”

In order to move off this island, it will require discipline. Most people like to kick the can down the road and hope it will go away by itself. Most of the time that will not happen. Why? Because we are creatures of habit. The moment things are not going like we want, we go back to the familiar: picking up the same can, the same habit, repeating the same mistakes. The funny thing about picking up the same can is that we feel we have no other choice. If only we would’ve held on to our new habits just a little bit longer and gone through the valley of our new mindset, we would have overcome and discovered new possibilities.  Another way of getting off this island is to admit to ourselves that we need some help. So, try these helpful tips:

  1. Remain constant in prayer when you are feeling weak.
  2. Encourage yourself with the Word of God.
  3. Talk with a family member or friend; it may not be good to be alone in these moments. Ask God to show you that person to talk to.
  4. My mother used to put a Bible under my pillow at night when I was afraid. It always worked, and to this very day I still do it. It may sound foolish to intelligent readers like yourself, but try it when you are unable to sleep at night. You might be surprised. 

I am sure there are many other ferries you can take to get off “Someday Island.” However, what those tools (ferries) will have in common is self-discipline. This is most needed because often we don’t stay the course in trusting God, and we give up too easily. The habits we have developed over the years took time. They have become a part of our everyday life. It will also take some time for us to break away from these habits of our past. The greatest enemy of discipline is self. Are you willing to deny self? Discipline costs but is it worth it to you for the possibility of a different projection for 2023? The Bible tells us to “count the cost” (Luke 14:28, ESV).


Lose a few pounds

self controlGarbage in equals garbage out. How many times have you told yourself: I have to lose a few pounds; I have to eat better; I have to exercise more? Our family history tells us that if we don’t do better in this area, some of our family history will repeat itself in our life. We commit to going or joining the gym. We remember how we used to look in our favorite suit or dress and now it no longer fits us, so we waste time looking in the mirror, wondering how I can get back into these clothes? Hope is alive and well in you. It is never too late to start doing the right thing. Do you ever notice how we make time to do the things we want to do? Here’s some motivation for losing a few pounds and eating right: Health is greater than wealth. It is never too late to start doing the right thing. When you want to give up, remember why you started. Lastly, you can pray all you want, but there are some things God has already given you control over. (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV)


Control your thoughts

What feeds your thoughts? Whatever you listen to the most will influence you the most. Your social media should not be the core of what feeds your thoughts. The most powerful influencer there ever was and ever will be is Jesus. He took 12 people and changed the world. He is the “Word in the flesh.” The ultimate change agent. 

Hebrews 4:12 (AMP) “For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [a]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [b]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

If you want to change your thoughts and actions in 2023, get into the driver seat of your mind. Program your actions and thoughts by the Word of God.

We cannot help ourselves sometimes, and what got the best of you in 2022, will test you in 2023. We need a mental firewall and a battle plan, and it must be action focused. Most people know the Word, but they don’t use the WORD to capture those negative thoughts. Let me give you an example. What is that favorite song you used to sing and every time you hear it, it brings back memories of better days gone by? Those words never left you no matter where you were in your life. It takes you back, and the words are just as fresh as if you were listening to them for the first time. So it is with the Word of God. Those words are the language of the Holy Spirit that God uses to talk to you, to advise you, to counsel you. If you can just remember “The Lord’s Prayer,” it will work. It will become your permanent life raft in the time of trouble or peace. You will never know until you try it. You have the power, but you must use it. Or better yet activate it, as it’s in each of us.

Philippians 4:8 (AMP) “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”


In conclusion, 2023 is an opportunity to start again. All of us need a second chance. For this reason, aim high, put God first and follow His Word, consistently. Then watch the trajectory of your 2023 began to change.


Newton Fairweather is the pastor of Faith and Joy Church and the CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin.

Read last month’s article by Newton Fairchild at:

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