Continuing the series “How to Build your Faith,” this message delves into the biblical concept of self-control and its significance in strengthening one’s faith. We explore the importance of self-control in different aspects of life and will learn how to cultivate self-control as a vital virtue in your spiritual journey. You will be encouraged to seek God’s guidance and rely on His strength to develop self-control, ultimately leading to a deeper and more fulfilling faith experience in the message The Expectation of Self-Control.
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Notes for The Expectation of Self-Control
How to Grow your Faith
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.2 Peter 1:3–7 NASB95
Today we are goingt o focus on the building block of Self Control to build and stregthen our Faith.
Self-control, also known as self-discipline or self-regulation,
It is the ability to manage and restrain one’s own impulses, emotions, and behaviors in order to achieve a desired goal or outcome.
It involves making deliberate choices and exerting willpower to resist immediate gratification or impulsive actions in favor of long-term objectives or values.
Self-control is an important aspect of emotional intelligence and is often associated with qualities such as patience, persistence, and the ability to delay gratification.
It plays a crucial role in personal development, decision-making, and maintaining self-discipline in various aspects of life, including managing one’s emotions, finances, and health.
There is 1 thing I would change about this definition.
It may be the only option for the world, but as a beleiver we have alot more help.
What am I refering to?
“exerting willpower to resist”
You see for the Beleiver.
Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, not a battle of the will
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22–23 NASB95
Its not simply about trying to use your own will power to do what you beleive to be best for you.
Its actualy a inate character trait God wants to grow in each of His children
It’s not about God being a cosmic Killjoy, but rather a loving parent wanting their child to make right decisions so they can have the life possible.
You see it begins with a gift from God
A gift that has to grow and mature.
We receive the gift, but we have a role in to play in the maturation process.
Power over Fear
7 God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7 NCV
The Self Control Paul speaks of here, is a mind under the control of God’s Holy Spirit.
In the sense of self-discipline, the word “sophronismos” (sof fron is mos) denotes careful, rational, sensible thinking.
Having a sound mind as some version translate it,
requires a thought process based on the wisdom and clarity that God imparts rather than being manipulated by fear.
Fear is the tool that the enemy has exploited in abundance over the last few years.
Yet the word of God tells us to Fear God and nothing else.
Because there is no fear in Love
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.1 John 4:18 NASB95
10 negative consequences of fear
1. Physical Health Issues:
Prolonged fear and anxiety can lead to physical health problems, including cardiovascular issues, weakened immune system, and gastrointestinal problems. The body’s stress response, which fear triggers, can have detrimental effects on overall well-being.
2. Mental Health Problems:
Chronic fear can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental health disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
3. Impaired Decision-Making:
Fear can cloud judgment and impair decision-making. When individuals make decisions driven by fear, they may not consider the long-term consequences and make choices that are not in their best interest.
4. Social Isolation:
Excessive fear can lead to social withdrawal and isolation. Individuals may avoid social situations or relationships due to fear of rejection, criticism, or judgment, which can impact their overall quality of life.
5. Negative Impact on Relationships:
Fear can lead to conflict and strain in relationships. For example, the fear of abandonment or the fear of betrayal can create insecurity and jealousy, which can damage trust and intimacy.
6. Limiting Opportunities:
Fear of the unknown or fear of failure can prevent individuals from taking risks or pursuing new opportunities. This can result in missed personal and professional growth prospects.
7. Inhibiting Personal Growth:
Fear can limit personal development and hinder self-esteem. When individuals avoid challenges or confrontations out of fear, they may not experience the personal growth and learning that can come from facing difficulties.
8. Reduced Quality of Life:
Persistent fear can reduce one’s overall quality of life by diminishing enjoyment, satisfaction, and fulfillment. It can lead to a sense of constant unease or unhappiness.
9. Physical Symptoms:
Fear often manifests as physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and a racing heart. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and distressing.
10. Avoidance Behaviour:
Fear can lead to avoidance behavior, where individuals steer clear of situations, places, or activities that trigger their fears. While this can provide short-term relief, it can also lead to a narrower and less fulfilling life.
Thats some of the reason why God does not control us using Fear.
and why the enemy uses fear so much to accomplish its desire to steal kill and destroy
God does not want us making decisions based on fear.
Instead He provides for us self control
operating out of the mind of Christ.
Today, as in Timothy’s day, fear is a driving force in the world.
Fear inspires the news headlines,
motivates advertising campaigns,
and stirs up social media frenzies.
Fear is one of satan’s favorite devices to confuse our minds, cause irrational thoughts, misunderstandings, and derail us from the will of God.
For this reason, the Word of God encourages us to cultivate a healthy, renewed mind that can process right-thinking based on God’s truth
Someone who practices self control, leads to what the Bible describes as a sound mind
A sound mind is a stable, healthy mind.
A healthy mind is linked to our attitude and outlook as believers.
A sound mind is not overly concerned with the cares and problems of this life but is set on God and His Kingdom
33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33 NASB95
A sound mind is alert and sober
focused on the eternal hope we have in Jesus Christ
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 1:13 NASB95
A sound mind recognizes who we are in Christ,
and does not depend on human wisdom and strength
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NASB95
A sound mind is guarded through prayer and purity:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.Philippians 4:6–8 NASB95
13 results of when people do not practice self control
- Overeating and Poor Dietary Choices
- Impulse Buying: grocery store setup. impluse items right by check out
- Excessive Screen Time: CDC kids 8-10 avg 6/day kids 11-14 avg 9/day
- Addictions Drug & alcohol, porn at an all time high
- Anger and Impulsive Reactions
- Overspending and Debt: according to CTV news Household debt rises by 4.2 last year to $2.34 trillion in Canada according to equifax Alberta leads Canada for the average debt load not counting mortgage at $25,056/person
- Profligate Lifestyle Some people live beyond their means, constantly seeking luxury items and experiences, even when they cannot afford them. This lack of financial discipline can lead to financial instability.
- Lack of Exercise
- Compulsive Behaviour
- Inability to Save Money:
- Neglecting Health and Wellness:
These are all consequence of Not practicing self control.
they all eventually leads to an unhappier lifestyle
the happiness you get from buying things does not last long
and caused you to buy even more things
A lack of self-control, then, leads to the free reign of fleshly, worldly patterns that end up exercising control over us.
28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.Proverbs 25:28 NLT
6 Encourage younger men likewise to be self-controlled,Titus 2:6 NET
Self-control displays our God because our God is self-controlled.
This is no more evident than in the gospel!
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9 NASB95
To exercise self-control is to discipline ourselves, set boundaries, and rule over our actions.
First of think about one area of your life that is succeeding in the exercise of self-control?
it may be helpful to remember an area that was once a challenge, but is longer one.
Praise God for that!
Thank God for helping you in that area of self control
What is one area that is lacking self-control, in which you desire to grow?
Thank God for his Word, which convicts us of the truth, and for his divine power, which is everything we need for life and godliness.
Six Steps to Exercising Self-Control
The gospel is the motivation we need to overcome anything that has threatened to overcome us.
Christ is glorified when we exercise self-control because we seek an imperishable prize that only he can give us,
rather than a perishable one, which we give ourselves through fleshly indulgence and immediate gratification. here are a few practical ideas for exercising godly self-control, as seen in scripture:
Step 1. Renew your mind through God’s Word
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2 NASB95
renewing your mind means an on going process to think the way God thinks
It really comes down to listening and obeying Holy Spirit
Step 2. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s help
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His mightEphesians 1:17–19 NASB95
Step 3. Confess your habits to God and others.
7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:7 NASB95
Step 4. Identify and remove your triggers
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.Romans 13:14 NASB95
temptation is a slippery slope, it never just happens by studying your thoughts and emotions you can come to learn when temptation actually starts.
22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.Ephesians 4:22–24 NASB95
Step 5. Take your time, allow the Spirit to speak to you
Instead of doing something out of impulses, take the time to evaluate allow the Spirit to speak to you weigh the pro and cons wants vs need instead of evaluating if you can afford the payment think of it terms how how long it takes you to earn that! one rule I implemented for myself early on I will never buy anything that I feel pressure to buy. served me well in time share presentations “so if I buy today its this price….but if I come back in 1 hour the price goes up” and the person who comes in tomorrow gets the same price you offered to me? No thank-you! If I feel pressure the default is no. By taking time to listen to Holy Spirit get the absolute best deal I’ve literally had sales people chase after me after leaving a store to except my offer
Step 6. Remember the gospel when you fail.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16 NASB95
Praise God for the magnification of his grace in our weakness, as we pursue the important exercise of self-control, which is highly glorifying to him and the wonder of his eternal gospel!
7 The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers.1 Peter 4:7 NRSV
I think it may be better to say instead of Self control…..maybe we should start accepting Holy Spirit control for true and genuine self control can only be attained with the help of Holy Spirit.