"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city." Proverbs 16:32 NASB

It could be said that one who is out of control is one who does not control himself in what he says or what he does. Self control is part of the fruit of the spirit, (Gal. 5:23). It is a quality of mind that is to be added to our faith, (2 Pet. 1:5-6). Paul understood this; in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 he said, "And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified." NASB.

From the passages above we must have self control. However, the kind of self control to exercise must be scriptural? In other words, the control of self that a member of the church exercises must be guided by the control of Christ? Self control does not mean you control others. It means you control yourself. How often do we find members of the church wanting to control other people's lives beyond what God has allowed. We have limited power that God has given to us in matters of control; but power, like money, can be abused. A simple example would be the father who exercises control over his children. This is scriptural, 1 Timothy 3:4. However, where is the scripture, for this same father, to exercise the same control over a child not his own? 1 Timothy 3:4-5 implies that an elder of the church would have managerial control over certain members of the church; yet this power and control is within limits. An elder that would go beyond God's limits, is out of scriptural control.

Would not abusing power that God has given to us, indicate that we are out of scriptural self control; seeing that we say or do things unscripturally? God is always in divine and holy control of what He does. God made man a free moral agent. Man chooses to reject or receive the control of Christ. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." NASB. Could it be when we abuse the power of control given to us, that it is no longer Christ who controls us, but our own selfishness?

The proverb we read at the beginning teaches that one who rules their spirit is better than the one who captures a city. One may be able to capture a city and still fall short in ruling their spirit according to Christ. Let Christ control you and then you can be successful in controlling yourself scripturally in what you say or do. You can do it if you trust in Jesus Christ. Paul said in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." NASB.