Pastor E.C. Maltbia
In this world we live in, we are in desperate need of more people who exercise self-control. Unfortunately, we live in a society where people say and do almost anything and everything that comes to their mind. Therefore, self-control is like a breath of fresh air. Today, I want to answer three basic questions that will help you to understand self-control better.
The first question, what is self-control? Self-control can be simply defined as, “the ability to control oneself.” More specifically, it is the ability to control your actions and attitude. I like the way the Apostle Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified.” In other words, self-control helped Paul to keep himself from being mastered or manipulated by his moods. It also helped him to keep his attitude and actions in check. Self-control helps us to properly respond to the challenges of life.
The second question, why is self-control important? Self-control is important because it helps us to do the right things, at the right time, for the right reasons. Always remember, self-control does not necessarily change how we feel about any given person or situation, but it simply controls how we react. King Solomon describes it best in Proverbs 25:28, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” Self-control is our wall of defense against making foolish knee jerk decisions or reactions.
The third and final question, how can we improve our self-control? We immediately improve our self-control when we make the decision to stop procrastinating. Again, King Solomon states in Proverbs 14:23, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” King Solomon, in my opinion, is echoing the popular saying, “Talk is Cheap!” We cannot continue to just talk about how we need more self-control. We must put forth the effort to attain it.
Yes, our world is in desperate need of people who exercise a greater degree of self-control. Yet, before we can master self-control in our own lives, we must first answer three basic questions. What is self-control? Why is self-control important? How can we improve our self-control? I leave you today with the words found in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”