Sunday, September 23, 2018

September 23, 2018

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;"  II Peter 1:5-6

Self-control is mentioned here as one of the graces that must be developed to work out the faith that God imparts to believers. According to Peter that faith gives us "everything we need for godliness".

Self-control is also listed among the gifts of the Spirit that are evidence of a life filled with the Holy Spirit.

Clearly, self-control, the ability to get a grip on your passions and emotions, is a sign of Christian maturity.

The are three options I have observed for dealing with life:

1) Self-Dedication

By this I refer to a totally self-indulgent life-style. This attitude of life not only lacks self-control but it has no desire for self-control.

A self-dedicated person gratifies every whim as often as possible. Whatever this person wants they get it.

Greed, lust and sensuality are al they live for.

2) Self-Medication

The lack of self-control characterized by the self-dedicated life leads to feelings of anxiety, loss of self-respect, shame, depression and addictions. In an attempt to deal with the emotional and psychological pain caused by self-indulgent behavior, a person will self-medicate with one or more of the following:

*Alcohol consumption 

*Food as comfort

*Eating disorders

*Exercise disorders

*Gaming (OnLine Gaming Anon) (1/10 young people)

*Internet activities (61% addicted – FB, Twitter, stock trading, gambling, etc)

*Prescription drugs (1/12 HS seniors– Vicodin 1/20 — OxyContin)

12-17 year-olds abuse prescription drugs more than ecstasy, heroin, crack/cocaine and meth combined.

*Substance abuse (cigarettes, marijuana, meth, cocaine, etc)

*Sexual promiscuity



Unfortunately, these behaviors not only fail to help you get a grip on life but instead get a grip on your life.

3) Self-Control

Of course, this is the only acceptable life-style for Christ-followers. Rejecting a life of self-indulgence and a life of self-medication takes a strength greater than you have.

How then do I achieve the self-controlled life?

That will be answered over the next several blog posts. But for now, which life-style most characterizes you?

What has a grip on you?