In Titus chapter 2, Paul directs Titus to address the issue of self-control ("sound mind") to all sections of the church. Notably, it’s the only thing mentioned for young men. Here and elsewhere in the letter, he uses words derived from Greek soz- and phren-, suggesting to me a kind of spiritual mental health. The word enkrateia used in Galatians seems to address the more physical kind of self-restraint. I don’t feel well-equipped to really understand this command—what it means, what it addresses, and how to obey it now. Am I missing something? How do I practically communicate this to others? Some great examples from scripture have come to my mind: Nebuchadnezzar; the lost son of Jesus’ parable; “Legion”; David’s adultery and fall. —Fred Ichinose
Self-control is a character trait. You will not find a tightly worded definition in the Bible. But I think you are on to something: young men, those in the first quarter or third of their lives, need to form good habits, habits that will serve them well in later age. All the examples you refer to are fruitful (Daniel 4, Luke 15, Mark 5, 2 Samuel 11). Indeed, as someone once said:
Sow a thought, reap an action / Sow an action, reap a habit / Sow a habit, reap a character / Sow a character, reap a destiny.
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