who is self-controlled, Titus 1:8c
Self control is often applied to the mind before it is applied to the body. It is an active verb and not a passive one. If we make it passive, we set ourselves up for disappointment.
In Self-Control: The Battle Against ‘One More,’ Ed Welch said, “As the Hebrews were promised the land, but had to take it by force, one town at a time, so we are promised the gift of self-control, yet we also must take it by force.”
What does that look like? What does an active approach to self control look like? We are to be controlled by Christ. We are not to bring our passions and desires under our own control but under the control of Christ. It’s not about saying, “No!” That’s called will power and works only minimally. Instead, the Holy Spirit can teach us self control.
As David Mathis said on desiringGod.org, “All his life he was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). He stayed the course even when sweat came like drops of blood (Luke 22:44). He could have called twelve legions of angels (Matthew 26:53), but he had the wherewithal to not rebut the false charges (Matthew 27:14) or defend himself (Luke 23:9). When reviled, he did not revile in return (1 Peter 2:23). They spit in his face and struck him; some slapped him (Matthew 26:67). They scourged him (Matthew 27:26). In every trial and temptation, “he learned obedience through what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8), and at the pinnacle of his self-control he was “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). And he is the one who strengthens us (1 Timothy 1:12; Philippians 4:13).
I know this post is about pastors and elders, but it certainly does apply to us, doesn’t it?