Self-control

The more and more I read the Bible the more I am convinced that God wants the life-changing truth to actually change our lives. Or perhaps better said, the life-changing truth of God actually does change lives!

In other words, Christians are to be people who are changed by their faith in Christ. Christians are to be people who walk the walk along with talking the talk.

This truth is very clear in Paul’s letter to Titus when he begins addressing the different folks in the church. In Titus 2, Paul urges Titus to “teach what accords with sound doctrine,” and he then explains what to expect from each group. He speaks of older men, older women, younger women, and younger men.  The only characteristic that is common among all 4 of those groups is “self-control.”

  • 2:2 “Older men are to be … self-controlled”
  • 2:3-5 “older women are to …train the younger women … to be self-controlled”
  • 2:6 “Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled”

We understand then that in that church on the island of Crete that Paul was concerned that the Christians there should be self-controlled.  All of them should be. The men, the women, the young, the old, all of them are expected to have self-control.

The lack of self-control is an enormous problem today. And the result is that our lives are out of control! The ripple effect then of this problem is many people claiming to be Christians who have no self-control. Christians whose lives are out of control.

Men who are gone too much. Women who worry too much. Kids who play too much. Kids who do not play enough. Parents who work too much. We sit on the couch too much. We play sports too much. We watch too much TV. We are busy too much. Our lives are out of control. We need Self-control.

But the real truth is that self-control does not come from self. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. In other words, once you get saved God empowers you to have self-control. Self-control comes from the Spirit not from self!

If you are convicted because your life lacks the life-change that comes from faith in Christ, I suggest you start with self-control. Do you have it? Is it missing? Are there areas of your life that are out of control? Turn to God. Ask Him, through the Spirit, to give you self-control.

He will. He does. According to Titus 2, God expects all people in the church to be self-controlled!

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