Self-Control aka Obedience

Written August 31, 2007 – Friday

Posted September 5th 2007 – Wednesday

Self-Control aka Obedience


     Whenever I hear the word self-control I just kind of chuckle inside.  What a worthless word in my view!  For that matter all those words with “self” as their preface, just disgust me.  Self is the root to most of our problems, yet, you can look up self in the dictionary, and it will be followed with what seems like an endless list of self – ????  words.  Nonetheless, we continually hear about how we should be more, self, this and that, especially self-controlled.  However, should we?


     Right about now you may be say to yourself, “Is she crazy?  Has she lost her mind?  What about the Scripture in Galatians that talks about being self-controlled?”  Rest assured I am neither crazy or have I lost my mind.  I will endeavor to explain my unrest over the word “self-control.” 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22,23 KJV


     Galatians 5:22, talks about temperance, which has often been translated, as self-control.  Yet, the very verse in which the word appears debunks that idea.  The verse reads, “the fruit of the Spirit is” meaning that us having any form of control or temperance is a by-product of Christ Spirit living within us.  It is no result of self, at all.  Self will often stand in the way of the Spirit being able to manifest temperance within our lives.       

     You will find within the definition of the Greek word used for “temperance” the word self-control.  God does not desire that anything earthly or any worldly thing, including people, should control us.  He created us with freewill that we might even be free from His ability to control us.  God does however, desire us to chose obedience, to Him and His teachings, and therefore be masters over all of our make-up, desires, and appetites.  They key here is found in the obedience.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  – 2 Peter 1:5-8


     As we grow in our Christian character, we are instructed to pursue the growth of temperance, once we have knowledge.  This idea is not random; Gods Word is never laid out in any random way.  In the Old Testament God spoke of how His people perished because, they lacked knowledge.  It is crucial to know what God wants and desires of us, that we might follow His directives.  This is obedience and obedience is God-control, not self-control.  We can attempt to do a set and certain thing we put our minds to doing, yet, if God does not bless it, it will come to be fruitless in the end.  This is true in every aspect of our lives, from our vocation in life to controlling our personal appetites in life.  God must direct it for true success!

But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.  – Romans 6:17

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; – Philippians 2:12


     As we are obedient to what God desire for us in life, we find that we are being freed from the things that tend to harm us.  We can and should consult with God on every decision so that we might obey His Will for us and live a life pleasing to Him free from sins harm. Often, the things in which we are trying to exhibit self-control over are the harmful things in life.  The other portion of the time is so we might accomplish a certain task.  Both of which can be taken care of through counsel with and obedience to God.  We are saved day in and day out through our obedience to God; very often, saved, from self! 

Let us rest safely under the wing of God-control and not the tyranny of self-control!


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. amen sister…thanx for putting it in perspective

  2. Thank you for your kind comment. I am pleased you are allowing God to feed you through these essays. I welcome your input at anytime.

  3. I love to hear Truth being exposed. To add a little note to what you said about temperance vs Self control I would like to say that the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in us when we submit ours selves to the Spirit. He doesn’t control us either. HE keeps us from evil when He reigns in us. When we take our eyes off of Him we are lured away and enticed. The fruit of the Spirit is not something we act out but rather it is Him acting through us. He never had sin in his heart nor did he take his eyes off of His father so he was never lured away and enticed. Jesus never needed self nor God control but he did have temperance(moderation) in all things because it was who he was as well as the rest of the caracteristics of His spirit. I praise Gof for revieling Himself to me so I know that it is possible to be perfect like he expects if/when I keep my eyes on Him because perfection exists when we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

  4. I am sooooooooo sorry.I don’t know who Gof is but I hope you know I meant I Praise God. He is the only one I Give my praise to.

  5. Mary Eck thank you so much for your input. Please share more in the future.

    Dead Sea Scrolls Devotional Discussions Writer

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