“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”
― Lao Tzu
The greatest enemy to us is not the devil but self,the greatest battle we need to fight is not that against the devil because he is already a defeated foe but it’s the battle against self,for if you can defeat yourself and put yourself under control every other thing about your life would be settled.
WHAT IS TEMPERANCE
Temperance according to the Webster’s dictionary means self restraint in conduct,expression,indulgence of the appetites,moderation;In other words temperance simply means self control.
According to our text in 2Peter 1:6 “Add to knowledge temperance” the word temperance is translated from the greek word egkrateia meaning self control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions,especially his sensual appetites).
The word of God is complete and gives us a guide on the christian life,we are talking about how you can be fruitful in your faith walk,that we need to add certain other virtue to our faith to bring about a victorious and fruitful christian life.
We talked about virtue – which is the resolve to stand for what is right; we also talked about knowledge – which is knowing all about your christian faith,how can you defend properly what you don’t understand,now we will discuss briefly temperance which is also self control.
Temperance is last in the list of the fruit of the spirit not because its least in importance but because it binds all the rest together.Temperance is a word which covers the whole field of emotions and passions,control of spirit,body and mind.It has to do with enemies within the lust and passions which war against the soul.A whole army storming on the outside,is less than a single enemy within the walls which gives over the key to attacking forces.
Temperance is vital for success in life,whether in the faith walk,in business,in marriage,in career,without temperance or self control we will certainly not be able to achieve our goals,because we constantly have to fight with self in our journey of life and the faith.
Man has learned to control nature around it,now we can even put the weather under control,we can make rain fall,we can now tame animals such that even dangerous animals like lions and tigers and bears are under the control of man,we can now control the spread of fire,we have fire fighters but man has not been able to control himself.
A fire out of control destroys everything in its path,but a person out of control is even more worse – our world is destroyed,relationships are destroyed,everything noble right and true is destroyed.We must master the art of self control,bringing ourselves under.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT A MAN WITHOUT SELF CONTROL
- A man without self control is like a city broken into and is without walls – this simply means that a man without self control is without defense,without a covering.If he is broken into and without walls it means he is open to attacks and is exposed to the enemy.Proverbs 25:28.The king James uses the word rule,control,restraint over himself.
- The man that exercises self control is the man that will certainly win the prize – Know that the christian walk is a race for an eternal prize and anyone that will excel must have self control,without it success is not guaranteed.To be a success in the race just like the athlete you must apply self control in all things,you must apply restraint.1Corinthians 9:24-27.
- Self control is vital for achieving your goals in life – Athletes exercises self control in all things,to be great at the race or any other sport you must bring your body under subjection.You must give yourself to consistent practice,you must have eating some meals,you must avoid some persons and so on,all this is part of putting your body under control,if you must succeed.A man with self control has goals and does everything to run towards those goals and disciplines his body so as to achieve them.
- Self control is a product of grace – The grace of God that has appeared bringing salvation to all people,training us to live self controlled lives.The christian life is not that of struggle,living a life of self control becomes easy when we walk in the grace that we have received through Christ Jesus,the day we became born again.The grace of God makes it easy for us to live a life of restraint. Titus 2:11-14.
- The Spirit that we have received from God is the spirit of power,love and self control – 2Timothy 1:7. We have the ability to live a life of restraint and have a successful christian life.