Self-discipline is one of the most important character traits a steward can have. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7, NIV). The Greek word for discipline, sophronismos, appears only here in this verse in the New Testament and involves the ability to do what must be done with a balanced, sound mind that will not deviate from God’s principles.
Self-discipline can help us “to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:14, NIV), understand situations at hand, and yet calmly and meekly withstand pressures and distractions regardless of outcome. Daniel pursued what was right despite the lions, as opposed to Samson, who lived a self-indulgent life and showed little restraint or sound judgment. Joseph pursued what was right in Potiphar’s house, in contrast with Solomon, who worshiped other gods (1 Kings 11:4-5).
Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. What does Paul say here about self-discipline? What does he say is ultimately at stake in the whole question of self-discipline?
“The world is given to self-indulgence. Errors and fables abound. Satan’s snares for destroying souls are multiplied. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God’s word.” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 101.
Self-discipline improves through habitual practice. God has called you to “be holy in all you do” (1 Pet. 1:15, NIV) and to “train yourself to be godly” (1 Tim. 4:7, NIV). Stewards must practice and train to be self-disciplined just as much as the most talented athletes or musicians. We must, through God’s power and our own diligent effort, discipline ourselves in the things that really matter.
|How can we learn to surrender to the power of God, who alone can give us the self-discipline we need to live as faithful and godly stewards in a fallen and corrupt world?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons