3 Truths That Fuel Self-control in the Christian

Temperance is moderation in action, thought, and feeling.

A Christian who is growing in self-control experiences the same life events and circumstances as anyone else, and such a person also experiences the same anxiety, panic, or jubilation as anyone else, and yet they respond differently. They respond in a self-controlled manner to those feelings.

 

What kinds of things do you think of when you think about someone who has been walking with Jesus for a long time? No doubt such a person is filled with hope. With joy. With love. But as you consider that person in your mind, surely too you would think of someone who is self-possessed. That is, someone who doesn’t fly off the handle easily. Someone who has their emotions in check.

The old word for this character trait is temperance – it’s moderation in action, thought, and feeling. It’s someone who has experienced, and is experiencing both the high’s and low’s of life, and yet neither makes them stray from their course. Another word for this kind of character trait is self-control.

A Christian who is growing in self-control experiences the same life events and circumstances as anyone else, and such a person also experiences the same anxiety, panic, or jubilation as anyone else, and yet they respond differently. They respond in a self-controlled manner to those feelings.

Of course, you could chalk up such a response to just personality, that a person is naturally more subdued than another one. There’s certainly some truth to that, and yet for the Christian, self-control is or the lack thereof cannot be solely attributed to our personality quirks. It is instead something that is meant to grow in us as one of the fruits of the Spirit.

What is it, behind the scenes, that fuels Christian self-control? Surely if we knew these things, then we wouldn’t just be trying to be self-controlled; we would instead have some core truths to remind ourselves of when we are tempted to lose it. Here are three such truths:

1. Jesus Christ is Lord

This is a common statement, one that floats through the air of church buildings. So common, perhaps, that we tend to lose some of the significance associated with it. When the first Christians proclaimed that Jesus Christ is Lord, it was not just a statement of belief; it was a statement of subversion. The confession that linked the Roman empire together in the first century was “Caesar is Lord.” And then here came these Christians, claiming a higher allegiance than to their emperor.

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