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Self control: A fruit of the spirit

  

I read an article recently detailing the benefit of using self control to gain mental strength.  You can read the article in the Albany Times union archives entitled, “Grant funds study of self control” from a gentleman named Mark Muraven.  In it an amazing comparison is made to practicing mental restraint in order to gain overall mental strength.  Here is a quote from the article,

“Mark Muraven, a social psychologist, theorizes that self-will is a muscle. Exercise it, and it gets stronger.” 

and 

“From my perspective, you can never have too much self-control,” Muraven said. “I think it’s the most important part of people’s lives. Without self-control, people and society would have a lot of problems: debts, crime, failure to work, obesity and health problems.”

     Yes, society already has all of those problems, but they would be worse without self-restraint, he said.

     In one experiment, Muraven placed food in front of his subjects and told them not to eat it. One group had cookies, while the other had radishes. Then the food was taken away and the test subjects were asked to do a numbers task that required intense concentration, or in other words, strong self-control to stick with the task.

     The cookie group scored higher on the numbers task. Muraven believes their previous act of self-control strengthened their power of self-will.

(So much for the appeal of radishes!)

 Now I know these people were not seeking to produce “fruit of the spirit”, but the princple of self control remains consistant.  My point for this article is to point out that human behaviour is controled by the persons mind, but the end result of spiritual discpline carries a great reward  (i.e. life in the age to come).

1 Cor 9:25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1 Cor 9:26  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1 Cor 9:27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

We should remember the goal of our endeavours and encourage one another to exercise godly self control in all of lifes matters.  I know I have need of help from my family in christ in order to fulfill the calling of God so any advice or encouragement is welcome.

 Thanks and God bless, JimS 

One Response to “Self control: A fruit of the spirit”

  1. on 13 Sep 2008 at 1:14 amMark C.

    Now I know these people were not seeking to produce “fruit of the spirit”, but the princple of self control remains consistant. My point for this article is to point out that human behaviour is controled by the persons mind, but the end result of spiritual discpline carries a great reward (i.e. life in the age to come).

    But in some cases, the person’s self control is not sufficient to overcome temptation. This is where the fruit of the spirit has to come into play.

    Also, life in the age to come cannot be the reward of our own self discipline, as that would be salvation by works. I would think it is probably more a case of our rewards and responsibilities IN that life in the age to come being dependant on how much we allow the spirit to work in us and produce the fruit, including self-control.

  

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