Self Control…

on May 13, 2014



Self–control: restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires.

I read this somewhere(link provided below): The ancient Greeks prized self-control over all virtues. Of all the schools of Greek philosophy, the one that elevated self-control to the highest level of importance were the Stoics.

Stoic taught that if a man could become master of himself— if by sheer will-power he could gain control over his emotions and responses, then he would be perfectly free—no one, no circumstance could control him.
He would be unmoved by anything that happened to him.

There is a famous legend— about a young Greek man who embraced Stoic philosophy.
In order to prove his commitment to Stoicism— put a fox under his tunic, as this fox began to bite him, he did not move, he did not grimace.
The people around him had no idea that anything was wrong— they had no idea he had a fox under his tunic, until he dropped dead,because the fox had torn into his stomach and eaten his insides.

Probably a legend, but it does illustrate the Greek understanding of self-control,which was simply will-power.
Reaching inside yourself and grabbing some inner strength—and hanging on.  It was turning yourself into a stone.

Hmmm… Might sure sound dramatic and ridiculous;

However, am sure we all have different things we deal with and need to exercise self-control on.
Addictions, bad habits, pornography, Sex, money, drugs, uncontrollable tongue, anger ……

Control. Just say ‘NO’

It’s a spiritual BATTLE.

Have you ever found yourself making a decision to stop something but when the firm decision has been made, something else comes up and pulls down your defenses. Well, I certainly have. Just when I have made the decision to not let my weaknesses get the best of me…it’s like it just wants to taunt me more and the power to say no just isn’t there….

Prov 25 vs 28 MSG ‘ A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.’

In the above verse it makes me understand that without the doors and windows, anything can walk into the house; stray dogs and cats, armed robbers have easy access, in short anything has free access to dwell there.

In the spiritual realm, it means free access to the work of the enemies.

Tim Keller gives a great definition of the fruit of self-control:
Self-control is the ability the Holy Spirit gives you to chose the important thing over the urgent thing. The urgent thing is gratifying your sinful nature. Worldly passions. Idolatry. The important thing is love God and love your neighbor.

I read somewhere (link provided below) that its not enough to have will power but one should also use scriptures to strengthen one’s self.
Just one of the things I try to control are my thoughts and I would literally shake my head as if that would ward off those thoughts, but then I would start praying and it does work.

You might say, “I have tried that before …… I have determined in my mind not to do it but I later failed.”

But God is saying, “YOU tried it on your own…. Receive my grace to maintain your self-control.”

Its not just saying ‘no’ with your mouth and mind alone but working along with His GRACE.

Titus 2 vs 11-14 AMP, ‘11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.
12  It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,
13  Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
14  Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds.

Let’s all connect to the power of His grace to live better controlled lives.

Merriam -Webster dictionary


4 responses to “Self Control…

  1. folahan says:

    Self control, a major concern we all have to face,and have to keep overcoming in whatever area,keep it up

  2. segunrunsewe says:

    Great article, it was truly a blessing. I enjoyed the Greek analogy on the Stoic, and the emphasis made on the importance of self control and how this can achieve with Gods grace and strength. Keep it up.

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