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Summary: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”(Hebrews 12:11) "A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

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Self-Discipline and Self-Control

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Proverbs 25:28 (NLT)

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”(Hebrews 12:11)

Edmund Hilary the first man who conquered Mount Everest was asked by an interviewer about his passions for climbing mountains. He gave this replay “it is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves” Peter the great of Russia is quoted as saying “I have been able to conquer an empire but I have not been able to conquer myself” Hugo Grotius, the Dutch Jurist and scholar said, A man cannot govern a nation if he cannot govern a city, he cannot govern a city if he cannot govern himself, and he cannot govern himself unless his passions are subject to reason. Proverbs, One of the Books of the Bible says “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control”. (Proverbs 25:28) There has never been and never will be a great Life without self control.

People who try to gain freedom without self control are like a ship which is free when it loses its rudder; it is free to sail anywhere, even on the rocks. The rule of the sea is applicable in life also. People who try to lead a successful life without discipline are likened to travel in aircraft without Pilot, It is like a ply in a bus without a driver, it is to ride in a bicycle without break and handle. All the failures of a modern man is the lack of self control. A husband or wife who has self control can have harmony in the family-where love ,peace and joy, patience, kindness and goodness, humility, gentleness are supposed to prevail. From Biblical perspective, self control is really Christ-control. The more we give ourselves to him the more strength we are given to control those parts of us that need to be controlled.

Self-discipline is essentially the same as self-control, one of the nine fruits listed by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23. The KJV translation uses the word temperance in place of “self-control” which, like self-discipline, generally refers to our ability to control or restrain ourselves from all kinds of feelings, impulses, and desires, which includes the desire for physical and material comfort. Now, even though self-control is the last of the spiritual fruits mentioned by Paul, and even though it is a term not used extensively in the Bible, self-control is clearly an indispensable attribute of the Christian life, especially as our unredeemed flesh sometimes causes us to succumb to the persistent tug of our sinful desires.

The importance of discipline and self-control confronts us in two ways. First, the Bible requires it. Second, the out-of-control and over-indulgent, self-centered nature of our society clamors for the correction that comes only through a return to personal discipline and self-control. The time to obey God is now. We live only in the present - the past has gone, the future might never arrive. The only time we have to do God's will is the time that is passing at this moment. Now if the present is the only moment in which we live then it is the only time in which we can do anything. Consequently it is now that we are either moving towards God or moving away from him. I cannot obey or disobey God in the past because I am not in the past, nor can I obey or disobey him in the future, because I am not in the future either. Self control is only relevant to the present moment.


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