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That Dreaded Word: Self-Control

By Don Loftis | 04.11.12

It is amazing the effort that folks are willing to expend for certain goals.  They will study for months to pass a professional exam or train for years to win a medal.  These goals drive them to sacrifice so much in order to succeed.

The apostle Paul understood that living as the disciple of Jesus was of paramount importance.  No earthly reward could match its heavenly promises.  In I Corinthians 9:27, he wrote, “but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”  He was willing to deprive himself of certain pleasures in order to be in control of his desires.  Paul was determined not to be controlled by the lusts of his eyes and flesh.

This principle certainly would apply to our physical appetites — what we eat and how much we eat.  It also demands that we control our tongues and the ways that we talk.  Moral behavior is also in play here, as are the more positive activities of Christianity such as prayer, worship, and deeds of kindness.

We live in the midst of an indulgent society which has a hard time saying “NO” to premarital sex, drugs, pornography, profanity, debt, overwork, divorce, and fourths at the buffet.  However, the Lord calls us to make good decisions in every phase of our lives and to use that control to show the world a better way.



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