Self-control is a vital part of the Christ-like walk of faith. After all, it is one of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5 that we should be growing and emanating as followers of Jesus. Peter also mentions this attribute in 2 Peter 1 as something we should aim to develop in our character. So, why is self-control so important and so powerful?
First, we must realize this is part of who our heavenly Father is, so that alone makes it important as it is our ambition to be more like Him according to our original design. So often though, self-control is seen is an ability to restrain or hold ones self back from doing something, or basically to keep ourselves from sinning, but it is so much more than that. The Greek word for self- control is egkrateia which directly means temperate which does mean to hold within bounderies and/or moderate an appitate, but a deeper dive into it shows something much more powerful.
Egkrateia is the combination of two words, en and kratos. Kratos means dominion, power, and strength! See, self-control isn't just about dampening or inhibiting an unwanted desire, but it's about having the power to overcome all of it, and not just that, but also the powerful ability to control your tracectory moving forward into your God-given purpose!
It's like when your driving a car. You are controling the car. Would you try and drive a car with only brakes? I don't think so. It would be a useless vehicle. Brakes are not the only mechanism you have to control and operate the vehicle. you also have a steering wheel and a gas pedal. When you push on the gas pedal you are controlling the vehicle to move forward. Likewise, the fruit of self-control is not just our spiritual brakes, but also our spiritual gas pedal.
Yes, we must learn to control ourselves in the manner of wrong habits, but we must control ourselves in the development of good habits as well just as Hebrews 12:1 says, "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us". We must learn to control ourselves as as to through of sins and weights that hinder us, but we we must also apply self-control to run into our God-given purpose. We control, moderate, discipline, and apply power (whether it be practically or outside our understanding) through prayer, fasting, giving, meditating on the Word, eating right, exercising our bodies, etc and in all of it keeping our focus on Jesus so that we grow closer to Him and towards our purpose.
In all of this, as we keep eyes on Him, we begin to grow in self-control (and the rest of the fruits of the Spirit) and He gives us the strength to do all things through Him.
in our lives.