A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32 ESV
What does it mean to have Self-Control? Self-control is the culmination of what it means to grow spiritually. If we have understanding and can truly say we are nourished by the Fruit of the Spirit then we can have control of our humanity and concentrate on completing our walk in the Spirit. Of course we are still imperfect beings and cannot fully attain this on earth. But we are given the strength to endure.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
Peter gives guidance in the steps leading up to love in which self-control is central.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV
If self-control was not important, Paul would not have told Timothy:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
The Romans had their great sporting and track and field events so Paul could speak to them in a way they would understand. The Corinthians new what it meant to win and lose. Paul gives the analogy of the prized wreath after winning a race:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we, an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV
Self-control takes discipline. The Corinthians also had a very bad sexual immorality issue so not only did Paul talk about the body being a temple and not ours to destroy but the discipline it takes to keep the body from earthly entices.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV
Jesus is the only person to walk on this earth that had perfected self-control. Yes there may be others who claim it but they are not the perfect being who has perfect control and the only one who can bear our sins.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14 ESV
The words of Romans 12:1-2 speak for themselves.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ESV
So do not conform to the world by letting the things that take you away from God win your heart. Let the prize of a life with God be your motivation for living. Do not worry about the things of this world and the people who cause you strife for they will be your undoing. Keep your whole body and spirit focused on the great prize and you will have great success.
May God’s Love bring you peace,
Rob, Servant of God