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Self-Control Word Study
Over the years, I’ve developed a really bad relationship with food. I tend to think about food a lot (you have to come up with something to eat at least three times a day, right?). But my thoughts often aren’t about meal planning. They are more related to what is “good” vs. “bad” to eat, or when I “should” or “shouldn’t” eat – and I always want to choose the “bad” thing. I want to eat more than I should, or eat something unhealthy, or snack a lot between meals.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
In these verses, Paul is basically talking about a lack of self-control and lack of self-discipline. The things he doesn’t want to do, he keeps on doing (lack of self-control), and the things he wants to do, he ends up not doing (lack of self-discipline). Knowing that I struggle with food, and knowing that much of my struggle with food has to do with a lack of self-control, I decided to do a word study on self-control. What does the Bible have to say about self-control? Why is self-control good? How do we develop self-control?
The answers to these questions can help us not only have more self-control in our eating, but they can help us in many areas of struggle. Maybe you don’t struggle with food. Maybe you struggle with an addition of some kind (alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, etc.). Maybe you struggle with anger or greed or gossiping or stubbornness. So many sins are rooted in a lack of self-control, among other factors. My goal with this study is to help us figure out how to develop self-control to conquer some of those bad habits and sins that continue to control us, because ultimately, the only one we should be surrendering control to is God.
Based on my research so far, I’m planning ten studies related to the word self-control. Then I want to briefly explore a couple related topics, self-denial and self-discipline. I’ll end with a lesson on Biblical thoughts related to motivation to continue to pursue and implement better habits in place of our natural sins.
I hope this series of lessons will help you understand yourself better and help you understand the importance of denying self and prioritizing God’s will first. A Christian’s daily life should be a reflection of who God is, and if we continue to allow something other than God to control us, then we need to rethink our priorities. I’m expecting to be convicted by this series. Hopefully together, by the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, we can tackle some of those issues we’ve been struggling with daily. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
If you know someone who would be encouraged by this study, consider sharing it!
This study provides journaling sheets with each lesson for personal reflection. You can access these resources here: Premium Resources.
To see an overview of my word study process, read this post: