Is the lack of self-control considered sin?


From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: There isn’t much said these days about people practicing self-control. This used to be part of society’s social graces. Is the lack of self-control considered sin? – S.C.

A: A great woman of faith, Susanna Wesley, once advised her son John while a student at Oxford, “Anything which increases the authority of the body over the mind is an evil thing.” There is so much wisdom in this.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit and it comes from a Greek word meaning “strong, having mastery, able to control one’s thoughts and actions.” Someone has said, “There are men who can command armies, but cannot command themselves. There are people who by their burning words can sway vast multitudes who cannot keep silence under provocation. The highest mark of nobility is self-control. It is more than regal crown and purple robe.”

Past history and current public examples influence how the excesses of uncontrolled appetite and fleshly indulgence wreak damage in our hearts.

The sin of lacking self-control springs from two causes: first, physical appetite; second, mental habit. When we allow our passions to rule us, the outcome is far more undesirable than can be imagined during the moment of pleasurable fulfillment. The need for self-control in every aspect of life has never been greater as we see violence, selfishness, apathy, and undisciplined living so prominent. Christians should set the example of self-control because it is one of the attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ. “The fruit of the Spirit is love … gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).


The strength of spirit is forged by a personal faith in God, by tough discipline, and by regular habits of devotion to Him in all things.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2023 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.





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