Virtue of the Week: Self Control

Self Control

Teenage boys, goaded by their surging hormones run in packs like the primal horde. They have only a brief season of exhilarating liberty between control by their mothers and control by their wives.Camille Paglia

Video on Self Control:

Self Control

It Takes a Warrior to Have Self Control

There is a mean streak to authentic self-control. Think about people you know and admire for their example of self-control, those who are not ruled by their desires. Underneath what seems to be their placid demeanor you will generally find the heart of a warrior. Self-control is not for the timid and meek. If we want to follow their example and grow in self-control, not only do we need to nurture exuberance for virtue, we also need to demand of ourselves a hatred for vice. . . . I am talking about a downright nasty “spit in your eye” attitude about the vices that tempt us. Vice isn’t just confined to the “obvious” like, drugs, alcohol, and porn. Vice also prefers to live in the “grey twilight” of moral mediocrity……. in the nooks and crannies. We need self-control there too!

Men, every time you gratify yourself with a coveting glance at a good looking gal, or gorge yourself at the buffet, or make another ego puffing comment about who you know or what you’ve done. Ladies, each time you cover your mouth to whisper gossip, starve yourself so you’re more relationally marketable, or enjoy the thought that your kids are better dressed and better behaved than so and so’s kids. It’s in those grey areas that we are most vulnerable to lose our self-control. Sure, we all struggle with vice, but it is not enough to “try harder to stop”; if we really want to build the virtue of self-control in our lives, we must increasingly hate vice and all its effects. Self-control is not simply an exercise in self-improvement. It is an essential discipline in a high-stakes spiritual battle. So strike up your warriors heart and declare war on the slow creeping vice that’s looking to destroy our lives.