“And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” (1 Corinthians 9:25, NKJV)
Just as an athlete must use self-control to win the prize, Christians must exercise self-control to obtain the imperishable crown of eternal life. The fruit of the Spirit yields self-control (Galatians 5:23). Merriam-Webster defines self-control as “restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires.” The Greek word for self-control is defined by Thayer as “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites” (167). Self-control is measured by our ability to conform ourselves with complete devotion to the will of Christ (Colossians 3:17). Self-control restrains one from evil and directs one’s conduct in the ways of righteousness. We must control our emotions, impulses and desires to do God’s will (Titus 2:11-12). We also need self-control to abstain from evil (1 Peter 2:11). Self-control is developed by the deliberate choices we make to shun evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9).