How rare it is today to see self-control on display. It is a discipline that very few ever capture, and more and more it seems as though it’s not even a trait that people aspire to pursue.
However, for those of us who truly yearn to live a life of holiness, self-control is essential. In 1 Peter 1:14, the apostle tells us that we must live as God’s obedient children. We’re commanded not to “slip back into our old ways of living just to satisfy our own desires.” Peter then says, “You didn’t know any better then.”
But Peter then tells us in the next two verses what we must do now that we’re in Christ. “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
To further drive home the importance of the characteristic of self-control, Paul gives us contrasting ways to live in the letter to the Galatians. One way leads to a life of righteousness and the other ends in spiritual darkness.
Several qualities (idolatry, jealousy, drunkenness, envy, lustful pleasures, etc.) are attributed to following the desires of our sinful nature. Other traits (love, joy, patience, kindness, and self-control) are called the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Paul then closes Chapter 5 of Galatians with these beautiful words, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Galatians 5:24-25)
What phenomenal counsel from Paul. Rather than permitting your sinful nature to take hold of you, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you toward a life of self-control.