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Self-Control vs. Self-Indulgence

"Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right"


SELF-CONTROL - A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by B. E. Tumbleson

Librarian, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Cincinnati, OH

October 8, 2001



John Newton (1725-1807) lacked self-control, one of the fruit of the Spirit, for much of his life. Sometimes we forget church history's heroes struggled even as we do today. John Newton, who wrote the famous hymn "Amazing Grace," received Bible training from his mother until her death. He was 7. Then he drifted far from his Christian heritage. He lost his first job due to his "'unsettled behavior and impatience of restraint.'" This character deficit was to continue for years. At 11, Newton went to sea with the merchant navy. Later he deserted the royal navy and joined a slaver ship. Rather than rejecting wrong desires, he seemed to embrace them. His arrogance, insubordination, and immoral habits characterized his life aboard the slave ship. Although Newton came to faith during a storm at sea, he continued to work as mate then as captain aboard slave ships. Only after he went ashore and came under the influence of the Wesleys and George Whitefield did Newton resolve to pursue the right. He became ordained as an Anglican minister, took a parish, wrote hymns, and joined the English abolition movement against slavery. Indeed, he encouraged William Wilberforce in his Parliamentary campaign to abolish slavery in the British empire. Newton wrote Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade in 1787. As we see, Newton's struggle and ultimate victory in self-control is attributed to God's amazing grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.

[Adapted from 131 Christians Everyone Should Know, Mark Galli, Broadman & Holman, Nashville 2000.]


This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.