Summary: This is a sermon by the greatest pastor in Pensacola, Florida -- Pastor Dempsey "Pop" Daniels. It was preached in a Fruit of the Spirit day.
The Virtue of Self Control
The virtue of self-control is one that we long for, yet a few attain. In fact most people don’t even try, because they don’t want to say " NO" to themselves. Self control while it is highly respected and greatly desired it is tough.
As tough as self-control is, we know that without it, we create trouble for ourselves. (Think about it) how many times have you gave into your desires to later find yourself not being able to fulfill your responsibility? Just think how many times you gave into that temptation to find yourself not being able to accomplish your dreams? Most of us, rather than waiting until we can afford it, we pull out the credit card and buy it too fast. Rather than waiting for further instructions we move forward in our own wisdom thinking we can handle it, then discover plans were changed. Rather than waiting on God to fulfill his promise, we decide God needs a little help, so we take the notion and create a mess that we can’t fix. That’s what happen to Abraham…
(Gen. 16:1-6) He and Sarah had waited for the promised son, but each month nothing seemed to be happening. And finally after waiting for so long, Sarah came up with a little plan to help God out. She said "I’ll give my maid, Hagar, to Abraham. And I’ll tell him to have a son through her. " Abraham agreed to this little plan. As a result Ishmael was born. And God said, "No Ishmael is not the promised son!" Soon afterward, something went on and Sarah got pregnant. See, as a result of Abraham and Sarah not exercising temperance (Self-Control) trouble, havoc, chaos, mess, confusion was created. The result of their lack of self-control, rivalry, enemies in the house, was in that house when it used to be peace and harmony, respect and order. Hatred and animosity existed in that house when it used to be friendship and affection. FROM THAT ONE TIME OF LACK OF SELF CONTROL WAR WAS CREATED NOT BY GOD, NOT BY THE ENEMY, BUT BY TWO PEOPLE WITH LESS SELF CONTROL THAN NEED. (Let me help) This is why that war continues to this day in the Middle East.
Granted our times of not controlling ourselves will not create big problems. However the problems we create will bring unnecessary pain into our lives and the lives of those who we affect. So, how do we allow the virtue of self-control to grow within us?
Let’s begin with biblical principle of Understanding what Paul was saying when he wrote this letter.
Paul used the word egkrateia (eng-krat-i-ah), which is to say exercise self-restraint. This means to be strong in a thing, to be the master, to be in control, I believe you would agree the people who have self-control are strong people. People who have self-control are masterful people. People who have self-control are people that are in control. Any body agrees with me when I say, the people who have self-control are strong individuals. There are two aspects to self-control.
1. Self-Control requires great strength because one of the hardest things for people to is to say NO to his or her self. We do not want to kinder our enjoyment of life. We do not want to reduce the pleasure we have in life. So rather than telling us to slow down, be patient and think about it, we speed up, and become impatient, and act without thinking of the consequences.
2. Self Control requires great strength because self control means doing what must be done. Most people blame procrastination for not doing the things that must be done. And in all reality, few people are procrastinators. The problem is self-control.
We put off doing things. Why? Because we have no discipline.
We put off taking action. Why? Because we fear the consequence.
We put off saying what needs to be said. Why? Because we are afraid of rejection and conflict.
We put off making decisions. Why? Because we are afraid of failure.
(1 Cor. 9:24-27 NLT) Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You must run in such a way that you will when all the athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to when the prize that will fade away. But we do this for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who missed his punch. I disciplined my body like an athlete training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after my preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
I’m headed home now but I want you to remember that Self-Control has five qualities.