StoneBridge Community Church
Self-Control in a World of Temptation
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 7:00 AM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

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The Text in Context

J. Hampton Keathley, III, "The Foundation, Means, and Motivation for Godly Behavior (Titus 2:11-15)" From the series The Letter to Titus: An Exegetical and Devotional Commentary.

We're all pretty bad at resisting temptation.

Self-control is essential to a happy and successful life.
1. The big surprise about self-control is…
1. The big surprise about self-control is that willpower doesn't work.

The Myth of Self-Control

Brian Resnick, "The Myth of Self-Control: Psychologists say using willpower to achieve goals is overhyped. Here’s what actually works." Vox, Nov 24, 2016.

8 Scientific Facts About Self-Control

"8 Scientific Facts About Self-Control" Reflectd, posted December 30, 2013.
For Reflection/Discussion: If you could change anything about your life, what would it be? What role does accepting responsibility play in your becoming the me that you want to be? Why is self-control an essential part of becoming the people we want to become? Have you ever tried to overcome temptation through willpower? Were you successful? Why or why not? Why are we so bad at resisting temptation?
2. The unexpected secret to self-control is…
2. The unexpected secret to self-control is surrendering control.
For Reflection/Discussion: What is the relationship between self-control and the grace of God? How can surrendering control of our lives to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lead to self-control? Why is so difficult and why do we resist surrendering control to God? Think about the me that you want to be. What would you have to surrender in order to become that person? Why is seeing self-control as a fruit of the Spirit so important?
3. A simple strategy for developing self-control is…
3. A simple, super-practical strategy for developing self-control is laid out in scripture.

Homer w/ shoulder angel and devil

Shoulder Angel

"A shoulder angel is a plot device used for dramatic and/or humorous effect in fiction, mainly in animation and comic books/strips. The angel represents conscience and is often accompanied by a devil representing temptation. They are a useful convention for depicting the inner conflict of a character…" Wikipedia article.
"The people who are really good at self-control never have these battles in the first place…" —Kentaro Fujita

"If you’re trying to lose weight, and you find yourself in front of a big pile of cookies, the pile of cookies has already won." —Brian Resnick

Biblical Strategies for Learning Self-Control
• Don't resist temptation; avoid it.
• Take care of yourself.
• Remember the long game (the why).
• Reward yourself from time to time.
• Forgive yourself and move forward.

Learning to Control Yourself

Steven J. Cole, "Learning to Control Yourself (Galatians 5.22-23)"

5 Proven Methods for Gaining Self-Discipline

Jennifer Cohen, "5 Proven Methods for Gaining Self-Discipline" Forbes, June 18, 2014.
For Reflection/Discussion: What is the difference between resisting temptation and avoiding temptation? Which is more common? Why is easier? Which is most effective? What is the connection between taking care of ourselves and developing self-control? Why is it important to remember our long-term goals when we experience temptation? Why are occasional breaks, treats, and rewards important to achieving our long-term goals? How should we respond when we fail in our efforts at self-control?

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