Weekly bulletin article by Mike Johnson

Self-control would solve so many of our problems. Do you have health issues? Self-control in eating and exercising habits will solve so many of them. Do you have financial issues? Self-control in spending will solve so many of them. Do you have relationship issues? Self-control in our actions and reactions will solve so many of them.

And yet, self-control seems so out-of-control on a national and world-wide scale. The 1960s gave us the slogan—“Do your own thing.” The Isley Brothers in 1969 popularized the slogan in their song—“Its your thing; do what you want to do.” The 1980s glamorized it in Whitney Houston’s song---“Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all”.

We have, for the most part, become people who live by the standard of what I want and what is best for me. Many national elections are guided by what individuals think will serve them best without any regard for what is right for the country or for what is right—period! Many sports teams are torpedoed by their own players who play as individuals seeking their own fame rather than dedicating themselves to the team first.

The entire emphasis of Scripture is exactly opposite of this mentality. Over and over, the Bible declares the benefits that derive from living the life of self-control. Matthew 5 is an entire chapter that details those benefits.

The Beatitudes declare the self-controlled person as “blessed” (Mt 5:3-12). Self-control eradicates murder because it stops the process as it controls anger (Mt 5:21-26). Self-control stops marital unfaithfulness by controlling the thoughts that lead in that direction. Self-control cures relationship issues by encouraging “second-mile religion” (Mt 5:38-42). Finally, self-control eliminates hatred by training each person to choose to love their enemies (Mt 5:43-48). Self-control is a key to every facet of our daily lives.