2 Peter 1:5-8 (Click on any Bible link in this article and you may choose to read the verses from other translations)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. –New International Version 1984
As we progress through our early life as a Christian, and as we read the Bible and listen to Biblical Christian teachers we will discover areas of our lives that need to be brought in line with Jesus teachings. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 7:7 that apart from the Law, he would not know what sin is. We don’t discover every aspect of our behavior that needs correcting all at once. And some behaviors will give us greater challenges than others and may take a lifetime to overcome. This is where we will see our need for self-control.
What are some of some of the more difficult areas where we may need to develop self-control? Let me suggest a few…
Read the Ten Commandments carefully in Deuteronomy 5:1-21 and be brutally honest with yourself.
Ephesians 5:3-7 points out sins like a “hint of sexual immorality,” impurity, greed, obscenity, foolish talk, and course joking.
Without taking the time to locate specific verses, I could continue to name sins that require more self-control. These might include gossip, meddling, grumbling, self-indulgence, lust, holding a grudge, resentment, neglecting responsibilities, laziness, …
My intent in listing these is not to condemn, but rather to point out how we become aware of our need for self-control by reading God’s Word.
We can also find re-assurance in the Bible for times when we fall short:
We are not alone in our struggle. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with sin. Read Romans 7:14-25.
Here is a comforting verse about our struggle with temptation: 1 Corinthians 10:13
Philippians 1:6 assures us that God began a good work in us and he will bring it to completion.
The hymn “He’s Still Working on Me” brings out this scripture verse. Unfortunately we tend to think of this as a children’s song and forget that he is still working on every one of his children no matter what their age. Listen to this hymn and sing along.