01 Jul Applying Self-control in Daily Life – Jul 11
By: Ferdinand Haratua
I drink a lot of coffee (or energy drinks), is it okay?
The apostle Paul says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (1 Cor 6:12)
There are two things we must indentify, first the addictive nature of our action, and second, the destructive nature of it.
On addiction, the Bible says that we should not be enslaved by anything. This includes addiction to caffeine, alcohol, sex, drugs or gambling. So, if drinking coffee is an addiction to you, which means that you cannot live without it, then it is not okay.
On the destructive nature of drinking coffee, let me start by saying that I am not claiming to know everything or have read scientific research and findings on this matter extensively. From what I know, some researchers have said that a cup (or two) of coffee a day is not “destructive”, people who drink only a cup of coffee a day could easily stop drinking without any problem, which is without any withdrawal symptoms.
In regards to drinking coffee, we then could ask ourselves that if we want to stop drinking coffee, could we stop it immediately? If the answer is no, then we may have an addiction to caffeine.
I love shopping (or eating, watching movies, playing games), is it okay?
The problem here is not with shopping, eating, watching movies or playing games itself, but in the love of doing it. When we love doing something, it means that whatever we are doing gives us satisfaction from it. We need to understand that the perishable things can never satisfy human beings, not permanently. Our satisfaction comes
from the Lord. The Bible says that as believers we must all exercise self-control.
Self-control is not an easy task, Jesus says in Matthew 5:29, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.”
The apostle Paul says that we must exercise self-control like an athlete: “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Cor 9:25–27)
Self-control is a gift; it’s the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23). If any of us lack self- control, we should ask God for it: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Tim 1:7) To every believer, self- control is more than just saying “NO” to things. Even without God, the world says “NO” to many things everyday. When Christians exercise self- control, we do so in faith and by the power of Jesus Christ, for this kind of self-control gives glory to God.