Tag Archives: self-control

The Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control #1313

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).

“Whoever is led astray by it is not wise” #1235

29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the backs of fools. 1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. (Proverbs 19:29-20:1, NKJV)

Intoxicating beverages lead people astray from the path of sober-mindedness and self-control, to a state of derision and tumult. The “scoffers” for which “judgments are prepared” (19:29), are none other than those under the influence of wine, which is a “mocker” (20:1). The same Hebrews word is used for scoffers and mocker in both verses. Drinking wine (not to mention, strong drink) mocks sobriety, and falls under judgment for doing so. Our passage says the person who is led astray by wine, as well as stronger intoxicating beverages, is “not wise” (a fool). God reveals the punishment (“judgments”) in verse 29: “beatings (are prepared) for the backs of fools.” You cannot consume alcohol without diminishing your sobriety and self-control. That is axiomatic. Inhibitions are lowered as alcoholic intake increases. Be wise, and abstain from the drinking that leads to excess (1 Peter 4:3). You will avoid the drunkenness that starts with the first drink, as well as the punishment of fools.

Self-control, not sinful abandon #1103

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. (1 Peter 4:3, NKJV)

Look carefully at this Scripture’s description of the “past lifetime” spent in “doing the will of the Gentiles,” instead of doing “the will of God” (1 Pet. 4:2). One thing all these sins have in common is the absence of self-control. From the sinful indulgence of lewd words and actions, to all manner of evil cravings, to drunkenness, carousing and the drinking parties that lead to excess, to the abominations of idolatry formed by unbelief – self-control is forfeited when these sins are practiced. Purity of heart protects us against lascivious, lustful conduct. Sober-mindedness refuses even the first drink of mind-numbing alcohol which, left unrestrained, invariably progresses to debauchery and drunkenness. Those who have armed themselves with the mind of Christ do not adopt the ways of unbelievers, much less defend those ways (1 Pet. 4:1-2). It grieves us when Christians defend the occasional consumption of alcohol, for it indicates a mind that is still “doing the will of the Gentiles,” instead of the will of God. Today’s tip: Put away all the sins of the past, exercise self-control, and live for the will of God today and every day.

Women Professing Godliness #883

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10  but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:8–10, NKJV)

Just as men are to be spiritual leaders whose holy lives equip them to “pray everywhere,” women profess godliness through their good works. The godly woman does not announce herself to others through immodest clothing that draws attention to herself and her body. Instead, propriety (a sense of shame, “shamefastness,” ASV) and moderation (“self-control,” see 2 Tim. 2:15), are hallmarks of her attire. She is careful to wear attire that does not present herself to others as one devoid of moral decency and discretion. To be godly servants of the Lord, whether man or woman, we must first adorn our hearts with holiness and godliness. Then, our clothing and our conduct will bear righteous fruit before God and before the world.

Add Perseverance to Your Self-Control #615

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness… (2 Peter 1:5–6, NKJV)

The Holy Spirit calls on us to add perseverance to our self-control. Self-control that is only sporadically used is like a misfiring spark plug in an engine. The engine of our faith will sputter, lose power, waste energy and become more and more ineffective. It may be time to give your faith a tune up by equipping your self-control with constancy, endurance and steadfastness. A thriving faith is vigilant to endure trials, constantly using self-control to avoid sin and to obey the Lord. The testing of our faith by various trials produces patience. Faith grows stronger when we endure, letting “patience have its perfect work” (Jas. 1:2-4). Living by faith is not easy. It demands constant self-control to persevere in the face of many challenges. You can successfully add perseverance to your self-control by “looking unto Jesus”. He endured the cross and its shame, and is now exalted (Heb. 12:1-2). Follow in His steps and persevere to the end.

Add Self-Control to your Knowledge #614

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness… (2 Peter 1:5–6, NKJV)

Moral courage and a knowledge of God’s word are not enough to produce a strong faith. You must also have the self-control to choose what is good and to refuse sin. Thus, the apostle gives instruction to increase your faith by adding self-control to knowledge. Temperance (self-control) is “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites” (Thayer). It is the ability to govern oneself, including when one is tempted to sin. Instead of being drawn away by sinful desires you must exercise self-control in all things (1 Cor. 9:25). You control yourself. You were not born a sinner. You are not tempted to sin beyond your ability to resist. God gives you a way of escape so that you can endure and prevail in Christ (1 Cor. 10:13). Self-control is one such way of escape. When you are tempted, exercise self-control to escape sin’s allurement. When you do, your faith will grow stronger.

Self-Control #552

Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”” (Acts 24:25, NKJV)

Mastery over self is a mark spiritual and emotional maturity. Self-control is generated by living according to the Spirit-revealed word (Gal. 5:22-23). Self-control is the ability to both restrain oneself from sin and to exercise discipline over one’s spirit so as to be faithful to the Lord. Our eternal destiny depends, in part, on whether or not we exercise self-control in all things (1 Cor. 9:25-27). Those “without self-control” love themselves and sinful pleasures instead of loving God. Like Felix in today’s verse, they are lost in their sins (2 Tim. 3:1-4). On the other hand, Christians are exhorted to “be self-controlled”, remembering that “the end of all things is at hand” (1 Pet. 4:7, ESV). Bring yourself under the control of Christ. Live by faith and do His will (Gal. 2:20). Your moral and spiritual life is shaped by whether you use or refuse self-control.