Shelby G. Floyd
In his second letter the apostle Peter wrote, “Add to your faith… self-control” (2 Peter 1:6). Every Christian therefore is to learn self-control. Self-control or temperance is “to control the mind and body with all of the lusts.” Satan is a wily foe and seeks to destroy our souls through the three avenues of temptation—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
SELF-CONTROL PROMOTES A SUCCESSFUL LIFE
Both secular and sacred writers have recommended self-control as a much needed virtue for living a joyful and successful life here and hereafter:
- “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” —Seneca
- “The happiness of the men in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson
SELF-CONTROL IS A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
“But the fruit of the Spirit is… self-control.”
Self-control is of God because it is the fruit of the Spirit of God: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Our society today is being bombarded with every motivation possible for the people to fulfill any and all illicit sexual desires. Just as some members of the church at Corinth were caught up in the immorality rampant in the ancient Greek society, so are some members of the Lord’s body caught up in the old immorality displayed in long-ago (Cf. 1 Cor. 5:1-3; 2 Cor. 7:1-5, 8-9).
SELF-DISCIPLINE REQUIRES SELF-CONTROL
Unless we discipline ourselves and practice self-control, we will not receive the eternal crown of life and will be disqualified for the prize,
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).
Let us each add to our faith—self-control!
Copyright © 2017 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142