Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 to encourage him that God hasn’t given Christians a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. What is self-control? Is having self-control a big deal? Should not having self-control concern us? If you’re anything like me there are areas in my life where I’ve “nailed it” concerning exemplifying self-control and there are many other areas where I’ve gotten nailed!
Here’s some helpful definitions for understanding self-control:
- The governing of one’s desires
- The ability to avoid excesses, to stay within reasonable bounds
- The healthy regulation of one’s desires and appetites, preventing their excess
Self-control is a crucial discipline as the Scriptures tell us that our desires drag us away and entice us into sin (James 1:14), war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11) and are deceitful (Eph 4:22).
In fact, self-control is seen even in our initial believing and following of Jesus as we see in Luke 9:23, where Jesus calls us to Himself, where we first deny ourself. Thus, self-control is an indispensable and necessary characteristic of the Christian life.