But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Here is a great quote defining what self control is.
"Self control is having complete dominion over your flesh, and having Christ as the head of your life"
There are so many ways that Christians can apply self control on a daily basis. In fact, I think that the only way that self control is to be worked out is in everyday decisions. What we watch, what we listen too, what we do in situations all amount to our self control. It's also very interesting that you can't deal with addictions with love, or gentleness, only self control(From God!) can save you.
Like a city whose walls are broken down
is a man who lacks self-control.
Here is what I mean. God compared self control to walls protecting a city! Without a wall a city was defenseless, and could be taken over by any enemy. I am guessing God wants us to have the best defense possible, right?
Here is another great verse talking about self control.
1 Thessalonians 5:6
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
Here God compared those who lack self-control asleep! We really don't want to be asleep when there is a roaring lion looking to chomp us down. :P
A few months ago I was teaching my 7-9 Sunday School class for boys, and the virtue that we were studying that month was, you guessed it, self-control. As I was talking to them, sharing my thoughts and the story for that day I realized that self control has two steps. (Took me a while to put this into words) The first one is having self-control to keep yourself from sinning. In other words keeping your flesh in control from dominating you. The second, and most beneficial, is having the self-control to do right! In other words having self-control to go and share the gospel when you feel God tugging at you too. Or obeying the Holy Spirit to whatever He calls you to do, at any time. The first step of self-control is to keep from sinning, the second is obeying the call of God to be kind, loving, share the gospel, or any work of good that God calls us too. Did I explain it well?
God hasn't called us to live our whole lives running from sin, or struggling from one area all the time! There is a song we sing at my church that goes something like: "We are more that overcomer's in Christ!" It's in Spanish, but it's really true! We can't be like the Israelites who for so many years were flip flopping from idolatry to God and back. I am not looking down on them, but they are, sadly, an example of what not to do. God wants us to go and conquer the promise land, and in a way it all starts with self-control. We cannot achieve complete self-control with out the help of God.
I think that the choice whether to sin or not is a premomentary(Not really a word, I made it up just now) choice. In other words, the decision is made before the actual incident. For example, we all know that Jesus had the perfect self-control to go on the cross and die, right? Now, before the time came for Him to actually commit that act, He already knew what was going to happen, and already decided what to do in that situation, get me? I know that Jesus is God, and He knows all things, but we do know our weak areas, and we know that Satan will test us where we might fall. There is a start! We do know the areas that Satan will attack us from. So, purpose in your hearts' that when the time come to choose God and life, you will, no matter the cross.
I always think of that story from Columbine. When those reckless teens came to the school shooting and killing students they singled out one girl, because they knew she was a Christian. Then they approached her pointed a gun at her head. With anger they asked her to renounce Christ! But she refused, and sadly she became one more casualty from that horror. But I am sure that where she is now she does not regret that choice one bit.
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
Beautiful example of what I am talking about! Daniel knew that he was living in a strange land, with sinful customs against the Law of God. (Sounds like us, huh?) And before he was asked to eat of evil foods(sounds funny) he knew just what he was going to do. His choice to resist the Devil was made before the temptation.
I really had a lot of idea about this topic, and I really hope that I explained them in an easy way to understand, but hey! Your smart people. I love to read your comments, and they are appreciated. :)
Any comments or thoughts on this subject?
Do you have any practical ways to grow in self control?
Are there any other verses or examples that you might think of about self-control?