Self control is a necessary part of being a follower of Jesus for several reasons.
First of all, it is necessary because in order for us to handle things God has given us, self control must be part of our lives. As Paul states in his letter to Titus, ” Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.”
We agreed that to be a leader, we must exercise self control as being quick tempered does not do well for a leader. Jesus had self control in His teachings and so we must discipline ourselves to be like Him. It is through very difficult at times to practice this virtue and some of us get caught up in not being controlled whether in the area of overeating or sexual immorality. We also discussed how the Bible gives instruction in how to avoid these temptations. One of those ways is to flee the situation as it talks about in 2 Corinthians 6:12-20. Self control is necessary, but sometimes hard to achieve. The Bible gives many reasons and examples of how to avoid temptations as well as examples of what self control is not. Ultimately when we study what and how Jesus acts, we see how we are to behave and how to be more like Him in our daily lives.
We talked about the 12 step movement, built upon Christian principles. The movement emphasizes the need for dependence on a “Higher Power”–God.
Individually, we are powerless in the face of our addiction/sin. We can’t “self control” our way out of the problem. We must have God’s power and support/
encouragement from others. Biblical community has a great role to play.
Former IU basketball player Todd Leary offers a sad example (Sunday Indy Star article) of those who fail to heed wisdom of I Timothy 6: “Godliness with
contentment is great gain.” Leary wanted to be as well off as business associates, engaged in white collar crime, and spent a year in prison. Fortunately,
a Christian reached out to Todd and he is now on a different life path.
We read aloud the Galatians 5 fruit of the Spirit passage.