God's Truth In Love

Fruit or Vegetable Series ~ Part Sixteen – Self-control/Temperance

In Agape Love, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Monday, April 07, 2014

In this segment, we will look at the virtue of “self-control” and “temperance” which is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. What we will examine is godly temperance and godly self-control not the worldly version of self-control or self-discipline. When self-discipline is applied in a worldly setting, it commonly has the undertones of refining oneself into a self-god. Self-discipline is mainly applied to accomplish ones own goals or remake oneself in one’s own desired image. Godly self-control is about walking out the steps necessary for God to manifest His Will in your life. Temperance is about bringing balance and simplicity to life through bringing all things into subjection under the Will of God for your life. Though the differences may appear slight, the attitudes and motives behind the differences vary vastly.

What does it mean to be in subjection to God’s Will? Subjection per Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary means, “to make (as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior.” In order to come under God’s Will, and stay under God’s Will, a person must make any number of choices daily that places his or her will aside and chooses God’s Will instead. When we make those choices, we are exhibiting the virtues of the fruit of Spirit known as godly self-control and temperance.

Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness [KJV – gentleness], goodness, faithfulness [KJV – faith], 23 gentleness [KJV – Meekness], self-control [KJV – temperance].

As stated previously in earlier writings, the word or term used in the King James Version of the Bible is the word needed in order to look up the exact meaning of said word in the Greek or Hebrew language. When researching biblical words one must always go back through the KJV 1611 Bible. Therefore, whereas the NKJV uses the word self-control the KJV uses the word temperance in this verse. The definition in the Greek Language for the word “temperance” used in Galatians 5:23 is as follows.

“temperance”

1466. ἐγκράτεια ĕgkratĕia, eng-krat´-i-ah; from 1468; self-control (espec. continence):— temperance.

1468. ἐγκρατής ĕgkratēs, eng-krat-ace´; from 1722 and 2904; strong in a thing (masterful), i.e. (fig. and refl.) self-controlled (in appetite, etc.):— temperate.

2904. κράτος kratŏs, krat´-os; perh. a primary word; vigor [“great”] (lit. or fig.):— dominion, might [-ily], power, strength.

Note: Continence has to do with sexual appetite and desires.

Let me make a distinction here. Self-control and temperance are not exactly the same things. They would affect, or effect, two different areas of a Believers life. Temperance will bring about a form of habitual moderation, which will spread over the entirety of the individual lifestyle. Self-control will deal with bringing control to a person actions, emotions and impulses. God uses the one, temperance, to allow God’s character to be walked out in a person over the course of a lifetime in every area of life. God uses the other, self-control, to break the bondages, bring order, and give victory to the individual in areas where their life does not exhibit godliness and could even be out of control.

For the reasons explained in the previous paragraph, I believe the change in Bible translations that brought about the use of the word “self-control” in place of the use of the word “temperance” has damaged the overall meaning God intended for this verse. This change, like so many others, has to do with the societal vices of our day and society’s attitudes toward excess. Habitual moderation in all things is extremely unpopular among the world and carnal Christians.

I also want to touch on another point very lightly. Temperance is connected to having “a sound mind” as described in 2 Timothy 1:7. Having study the various aspect of the mental health profession for many years, I can tell you that in almost all psychological problems an imbalance in behavior or thinking is present and is a factor in the cause of the problem. Just review in your mind the symptoms of most disorders and you will find a pattern of imbalanced behavior and/or thinking. Balance brings order to a person’s life, mind, and relationships. Extremes and excess bring disorder and destruction.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

The definition in the Greek Language for the term “of a sound mind” is as follows.

“of a sound mind” =

4995. from 4994; discipline, i.e. self-control:sound mind.

4994. from 4998; to make of sound mind, i.e. (fig.) to discipline or correct:teach to be sober.

4998. from the base of 4982 and that of 5424; safe (sound) in mind, i.e. self-controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion):— discreet, sober, temperate.

4982. safe); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (lit. or fig.):— heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

5424. (to rein in or curb; comp. 5420); the midrif (as a partition of the body), i.e. (fig. and by impl. of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extens. [also in the plur.] the mind or cognitive faculties):— understanding.

5420. apparently a strengthening form of the base of 5424; to fence or inclose, i.e. (spec.) to block up (fig. to silence):— stop.

Note: “moderate as to opinion” is not inclusive of, nor an excuse for, compromising or watering down God’s Word.

Here are some examples of how we might express godly self-control/temperance toward God, self, and others as well as through service.* When we practice temperance in our daily schedule, we do not become too busy to spend a bit of time in solitude with God each day. We exhibit self-control and temperance toward ourselves by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, balancing our work and recreation, and not eating to excess. By deferring to other people’s desires and wishes in a balanced way, where the relationship benefits both parties, a person is showing temperance. Not allowing your Christian service to place you in a position where are too busy for quiet time with God or too busy for your spouse and friends is an act of using temperance, and through being balanced the quality of what you give to those you serve will honor God.

“the more holy the life the more mysterious it becomes by its apparent simplicity and littleness.”

Rev. Jean-Pierre De Caussade S.J.

*I have a question for all of you. I have written this series from a template I set up at the beginning of the series. That template included the following sentence. “Here are some examples of how we might express godly ________________ toward God, self, and others as well as through service?” Does anyone see a problem? The question mark is the problem. This is not a question it is a statement. All of you let me write this entire series and never once mentioned I had misused a question mark. Now I know several of you are writers yourself, others teachers, pastors, psychologists, etc. I guess that since it took me until the end of the series to catch the typo myself, then perhaps, most of you have suffered from word blindness and like me just placed a period there instead. Like I often say, thank goodness for proofreaders. Although I am not interested in hearing about every little typo, in the future, if you see me repeating the same mistake over the course of several postings please send me a comment or note and let me know. I would be grateful. As a Christian Community, are we not suppose to be our brother’s keeper? We are all supposed to be helping one another to be better, to do better, and not to inappropriately use question marks.

I hope you all have enjoyed the series. This concludes the Fruit or Vegetable Series and I will be undertaking your questions with my next posting. I have quite a few questions and I am currently sorting though how to tackle them. Questions I currently have, or that come in, which I consider high priority will be, answered a soon as possible. Other questions, I may just put in order by what book of the Bible they might apply to or if the topic has particular relevance in society at the time.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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