Fruitful 10: Self-control
How will the fruit of 'self-control' shape your response to criticism and provocation?
- Self-control is a rare word but common idea in NT
- Specifically applied to leaders in Titus 1:8 (the word translated self-control in 1 Timothy 3:2 is a different word)
- Our minds immediately jump to controlling appetites
- Paul applies this meaning to leaders in 1 Timothy 3:3
- Because context is relationships, context here is more likely to be self-restraint of emotions in the face of provocation
- Contrast with acts of the flesh earlier in chapter
- Supremely seen in Jesus, 1 Peter 2:20-25
- Sometimes self-control trumps immediate pursuit of justice
- Like other fruit it is supernatural
Questions to think about
- How would you naturally respond to a long email or critical letter? How would being filled with this fruit change that?
- Do you agree that sometimes self-control is more important than the immediate pursuit of justice? Why can we let this be the case (see 1 Peter 2 for a worked example!)
- Are there particular people in church who need you to exercise more self-control?
- Praise God for self-control of our Saviour!
- Confess or ask God to reveal to you any situations where you have failed to show self-control
- Pray against any besetting sins such as anger or bitterness
Further passages to reflect on
1 Peter 2:20-25