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Our level of self-control becomes apparent in various areas of our life. My measure of good health, to an extent, will be directly related to how well I control my appetite or lazy tendencies. My relationships will be affected by how well I control my temper and sexual desires. It’s no surprise, then, that the Bible has much to say about self-control.
In the front of your Bible, write: Self-control- Prov. 16:32
He is who slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who captures a city.
Underline “rules his spirit.” In the margin, write “control your temper.” It’s better to be able to control your own self than to control an entire city. At the end of the verse, write 25:28.
Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.
Underline “no control over his spirit.” City walls are for protection. A city without walls is open to enemy attack. If you can’t control yourself, you are more likely to succumb to the enemy. In the margin write “vulnerable; no protection.” At the end of the verse, write Rom. 6:12.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts.
Underline “do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” Circle “reign” and in the margin next to it write “control completely.” Are you in control or have you allowed sin to have its way so that you obey it? At the end of the verse write 1 Cor. 6:12-20.
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything…
Underline “I will not be mastered by anything” in verse 12, “glorify God in your body” in verse 20. Paul will not be mastered by anything. The two examples he then gives are food and sex. He has determined that his body belongs to God and he will do with it only that which glorifies God. At the end of verse 20, write 7:5-9.
…so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control…
Underline “lack of self-control” in verse five and “do not have self-control” in verse nine. In the margin write, “sexual purity requires self-control.” At the end of verse nine, write 9:24-27.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.
Underline “exercises self-control in all things” in verse 25 and “discipline my body” in verse 27. Paul’s body was subject to him not vice versa. He knew it was essential. Circle “win” and “not be disqualified.” At the end of verse 27, write Gal. 5:22-23.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…
Underline self-control. Self-control is a trait of the truly spiritual. Those who lack self-control are led by their flesh (see vs. 19-21). At the end of verse 23, write 1 Tim. 2:9.
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.
Underline “discreetly.” In the margin next to it write, “with self-control.” The ESV already translates the word as “self-control.” The women in God’s house (see 3:15) should practice self-control. At the end of the verse, write 2 Tim. 1:7.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Underline “discipline.” Paul knew that Timothy would need self-control in order to “suffer for the gospel” (v. 8). At the end of the verse, write Tit. 1:8.
But hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled.
Underline “self-controlled.” Self-control is one of the qualifications of an elder in the Lord’s church (see vs. 7). A man who can’t rule his spirit can’t lead God’s people. At the end of the verse, write 2:11-14.
Instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.
Underline all of verse 12 and circle “sensibly.” In the margin next to “sensibly, “ write “self-controlled.” The ESV already translates it that way. At the end of verse 14, write 1 Pet. 4:7.
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
Underline “be of…sober spirit” In the margin next to it, write “practicing self-control.” It looks like self-control plays a part in our prayer life. At the end of the verse, write 2 Pet. 1:5-9.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness.
Underline both occurrences of “self-control.” In verse five, squiggly underline “applying all diligence.” We are to work hard to grow in self-control. Notice the result in verse eight. Underline all of verse eight. Circle “increasing.”
Self-control isn’t going to happen by itself. We must be diligent and intentional about it. Otherwise we will be useless, unfruitful, blind, and short-sighted!
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