Posted 10/21/2003 10:13:37 PM

"Everyone who competes . . . exercises self-control in all things." (1Cor 9:25)

Becoming really, really good at something doesn't ever happen by accident. Whether it's a sport, trade, occupation, subject, or some other kind of skill, excellence comes only with focused effort. It is work. It may be enjoyable, but developing to be the best is hard work. However, it's not hard work alone. A person can work hard at being the best, but lose focus along the way and give up on the effort. This is the common theme in diets, language learning, and even Bible study goals. The good intentions are there, the desire is there, but the stamina just doesn't hold up. There isn't enough self-control.

Self-control is similar to meekness: controlled power. Proverbs characterizes a self-controlled person as more powerful than an army strong enough to capture a city Pr 16:32. A balanced, steady life is in harmony with God, and well-exercised in the war against sin Rom 6:12, 1Cor 6:12, 9:27. Then there is the perfect person who actually can control his tongue! Jam 3:2 This characteristic is important enough that along with love, it's not only self-developed, but also given as one of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:23).

Some examples:

Submission, kindness, patience, generosity, hospitality - all these and more require self-control.


All verses in this article