The Kingship of Self-Control | William George Jordan Podcasts

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Now on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from The Kingship of Self-Control by William George Jordan, published in 1899.

Every person has two creators — their God and themselves. Our first creator furnishes us with the raw material of our lives and the laws in conformity with which we can make that life what we will. The second creator — ourselves — has marvelous powers we rarely realize. It is what we make of ourselves that counts.

When someone fails in life, they often will say, “I am as God made me.” But when they succeed, they proudly proclaim themselves “self-made”. We are placed into this world not as a finality, but as a possibility. Our greatest enemy is: ourselves. In our weakness, we are a creature of circumstances; in our strength, we are the creator of circumstances. Whether you be victim or victor depends largely on you.

No one is truly great merely for what they are, but ever for what they may become. Until you are truly filled with the knowledge of the majesty of your own possibility, you are merely groping through the years.

To see our lives as we might make it, we must go up alone into the mountains of spiritual thought, as Jesus went alone into the Garden, leaving the world to get strength to live in the world. We must there breathe the fresh, pure air of recognition of our divine importance as an individual. And then with mind purified and tingling with new strength, we must approach the problems of our daily lives.

Humanity needs less of the “I am a feeble worm of the dust” idea in our theology, and more of the concept “I am a great human soul with marvelous possibilities”. With this broadening, stimulating view of life, we can see how we may achieve our destiny through self-control.

The power of self-control is one of the great qualities that differentiates humankind from the other animals. We are the only animal capable of a moral struggle or a moral conquest.

Every step in the progress of the world has been a new “control”. It has been escaping from the tyranny of a fact, to the understanding and mastery of that fact. For ages humanity looked in terror at the lightning flash; today we understand it as electricity, a force we have mastered and can control. The million phases of electrical invention are but manifestations of our control over a great force. But the greatest of all “control” is self-control.

At each moment of our lives we are either a Master or a slave. As we surrender to a wrong appetite, to any human weakness; as we fall prostrate in hopeless subjection to any condition, to any environment, to any failure, we are a slave. As we day by day crush out human weakness (control opposing elements within ourselves), and day by day re-create a new self from the failure and folly of our past, then we are a master. We are a King or Queen ruling with wisdom over ourselves.

READ THE ENTIRE ESSAY IN EVEREST: 50 MOTIVATIONAL LIFE LESSONS