Jul 03, 2022 |Of The Spirit


07.03.22 | Of The Spirit


Tony Pyle

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

Oftentimes the idea of self-control can contradict the way we want to live our lives because it goes against our primary goal of comfort. Pastor Tony Pyle asks if pleasure and comfort are the core values that we are called to pursue with our lives. Although it can feel like we’re depriving ourselves of our desires, growing in self-control can move us toward a greater joy in God than any earthly comfort could provide.

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All that my eyes desired, I did not deny them. I did not refuse myself any pleasure, for I took pleasure in all my struggles. This was my reward for all my struggles. When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we direct their whole bodies. And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest. Every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish is tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:3-5, 7-8

Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Ephesians 4:25, 29, 31-32

For from the heart come evil thoughts

Matthew 15:19

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8

I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 5:16-18

Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

It’s not that we seek out suffering. Rather, we seek out meaning and purpose. But part of meaning and purpose is difficulty – anxiety, stress, conflict, boredom, and often
physical and emotional pain. We choose pursuits we know will test us – training for a marathon, raising children, climbing Everest – because we know at a gut level that these are the pursuits that matter. – Paul Bloom


It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Titus 2:12-14, NIV

Why is hedonism (the pursuit of pleasure and comfort) the “simplest theory of human nature”? How does this challenge you as a follower of Jesus?
How does self-control, like love, encompass the other fruit of the spirit we see in Galatians 5:22?
Where do you lack self-control (words, heart or actions)? How can you pursue self-control in this area of your life? How can your life group come alongside you in that pursuit?
Compare meaning and pleasure as the two drivers of our life. Why is meaning or purpose better than pleasure or comfort? How does this encourage you in your faith?