“Likewise urge the younger men to control themselves. Show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds.” (Titus 2:6-7)
To be self-controlled is to be able to say “no” to the impulses of the flesh regardless of how strong the temptations may be. To be self-controlled is the ability to act right no matter what one feels inside.
Self-control or self-discipline is not something we acquire from the blues, it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit; that is to say, self-control is one of the manifestations of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Hence, if we want to be more self-controlled, we must pray constantly for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Reading through Paul’s letter to Titus, we can see that self-control is neither the exclusive reserve of the young or the old neither is it gender-specific. All humans regardless of age and position in life always stand in need of self-control. However, without self-control, one cannot be a leader. As St. Paul says: “show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds…”
Jesus gave a parable in our Gospel passage to drive home the point that we should always see ourselves as humble servants. In essence, Jesus wants us to get rid of the “entitlement mentality.”
Even though the Bible contains a lot of promises, our worship of God does not give us an automatic ticket to receiving these promises. Yes, we must keep God’s commandments with all our heart but at the end of the day, we can only say: “We are unworthy servants. Again it takes self-control to say “I don’t deserve anything, I am only a servant.
Hear what others have said about self-control. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations). “Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it… Don’t allow his anger to become your anger.” (Bohdi Sanders, Warrior Wisdom)
“If you conquer yourself, then you conquer the world” (Paulo Coelho, Aleph). “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” (Lao Tzu). “Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.” (Elie Wiesel).
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, show me my control switches. Amen.
Bible Study: Titus 2:1-8,11-14 Psalm 37:3-29 and Luke 17:7-10).