Building Godliness: Self-Control

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Titus 2:11-13(NIV)

What is Self-Control

Self-control is restraining one’s feelings or actions. Self-control is about being temperate, calm, and having mastered one’s desires and passions. In the Bible, self-control deals a lot with drunkenness and having the self-control to be sober. This is still an issue in our present day. In our society being drunk is considered something of a normality. Sure we have restrictions like not being drunk in public or while driving. But outside of those restrictions, it’s perfectly normal. Sometimes even going against the restriction is considered okay. Under-age drinking is a rite of passage and is considered socially acceptable.

Self-control is when we (Christians) prevent ourselves actions or activities that might be norms of our society, but goes against God’s will. We practice self-control so we can live a godly lifestyle. Another example would be sex outside of marriage. The society deems it okay, with some restrictions, but the Bible talks of being self-controlled. And if a couple cannot keep themselves controlled they they should be married (1 Corinthians 7:9)

Self-Control Towards Our Families

As mature adults and spiritual leaders in our homes, we are to have self-control towards our children. Yes, it can be difficult to be calm and temperate toward our children, but neither is being a Christian or a parent. Working on self-control now is going to build godliness in your life and your home. You want your children to grow up with self-control, so you need to be the role model for them today.

Learn to walk away from volatile situations. Then when you are more calmed, explain the importance of walking away when they face those circumstances. Create areas for you and your children to have calmness. When you go into that place, it’s to calm down. It’s not because they are in trouble, but for them to relax.

Another way, is to start turning “have to’s” into “want to’s”. Children often times confuse these phrases but sadly so do adults. If our children see us buy impulsively, they will learn to be impulsive. Teach them to have self-control on their wants.

Side Note

Self-control is a virtue, but it can also be a sin. Self-control becomes sinful when we restrict ourselves from good things (1 Timothy 4:2-3) or restrict ourselves as a human achievement instead of naturally coming from Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). So if are practicing self-control to flaunt your own greatness, you are not practicing a spiritual discipline; instead you are practicing self-righteousness which doesn’t bode well with God. (Luke 18:19-24)

Previous topic: Building Gentleness

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