Berean Studies / Ber04 - Temperance And Self-Control
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1. What is the importance of self-control?
2. Is self-control necessary in the interest of others?
3. Are we to be ‘temperate in all things’?
4. Does self-control imply purification of the thoughts and intents of the heart?
1Jo 3:3; R2517 col. 2 ¶3( 1), 4; R2890, Subhead: THE CONTROL OF THOUGHT
(1Jo 3:3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
R2517 c2, p3(1), 4
(1) "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he [the Lord] is pure."--`1 John 3:3`.
The hope mentioned is that we have been adopted as sons of God, with the promise that if faithful we shall be like him and see him as he is and share his glory. As our minds and hearts expand with this hope and we begin to measure its lengths and breadths, its heights and depths, it surely does set before us the Heavenly Father's love and the Redeemer's love in rainbow colors and we more and more love the Father and the Son because they first loved us. The divine form of love becomes more and more our ideal; and as we seek to reciprocate it and to copy it, the cleansing and purifying of our hearts follows: for looking into the perfect law of liberty--Love--we become more and more ashamed of all the meanness and selfishness which the fall brought to us. And, once seen in their true light as works of the flesh and of the devil, all anger, malice, wrath, envy, strife, evil-speaking, evil-surmising, backbiting and slander become more and more repulsive to us. And finally when we see that such as to any degree sympathize with these evil qualities are unfit for the Kingdom and to every good work worthless, we flee from these evils of the soul as from deadly contagion. Our hearts (wills, intentions) become pure at once and we set a guard not only upon our lips but also upon our thoughts-- that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts may be acceptable to the Lord.
R2890, Subhead: the control of thought
Some are inclined to believe that since man's brain differs from each other man's brain to some extent, therefore his thinking must necessarily be different; in a word, that a man can only think in harmony with his brain construction. But we reply, Not so; each may learn to weigh and balance his own thoughts, to curb some and to encourage others; but to do this each must have before him an ideal of character, to be copied. Thoughts can be controlled just as words and actions can be controlled: the will is at the helm, and must decide which thoughts and sentiments it will entertain and encourage, and which it will repel. It is necessary, therefore, first of all for the will to be rightly directed, and secondly, to be strong, and to use its power in the control of thought; --in curbing those thoughts which it recognizes as evil, and in stimulating those which it recognizes as good, helpful, beneficial. The will, in Scripture called the "heart," is therefore continually appealed to by the Lord, as he now seeks amongst men for his "peculiar people." The message is, "My son, give me thine heart"--thy will. This request is not addressed to wilful sinners, for they are not recognized or addressed as sons of God, but as children of the Evil One. Those whom God recognizes as his sons are such as have been brought into harmony with him through forgiveness of sins, by repentance and faith in Christ Jesus, the Redeemer. It is to such that the Lord makes known that if they would "go on to perfection"--to the full attainment of his gracious purposes respecting them, the only proper course would be to give their hearts, their wills, to him in consecration.
The heart, the will, thus given over to God, seeks to know the divine will, to catch the divine thought and to obey it in word and in act; and in proportion as this condition of the new mind is attained, in that same proportion will there begin to be a newness of life in every respect; in ambitions, hopes, sentiments, and efforts. It is for this reason that the revelation of the divine will and plan is furnished to believers --that by growing in the knowledge of it, by thinking on these things, by filling the mind with the divine plan and will, the transforming influence may extend into every avenue of life.
5. Does temperance or self-control apply to our language?
6. Does self-control extend to business affairs?
7. Why is temperance necessary in our eating and drinking?
8. Should we be temperate in our joys as well as in our sorrows?
9. Is it possible to be intemperate in studying the Scriptures and in attending religious meetings?
10. What is the relation of the ‘new will’ toward the control of the flesh?
11. What is the duty of the Church toward those ‘new creatures’ who are lacking in self-control?
12. Why is self-control an essential qualification in an Elder ?
13. Why is it important that parents exercise self-control?
14. How can suggestion be applied in teaching children self-control?
15. How can we cultivate self-control?
16. What other most important grace will naturally be developed by attaining a large measure of self-control?