What comes to mind when you hear the words, "Self-Control?" Hopefully, you will think about Galatians 5:22-23 as it states "the fruit of the Spirit is...self-control." Drew Dyck says that talking about self-control is not sexy meaning it is not the most glorious thing we can talk about. All the other attributes the Spirit gives us are easy to address, but self-control, we give it a hard pass.
Dyck has written a book solely on self-control titled, Your Future Self Will Thank You. I admit the title is very interesting and catchy especially when the cover has a dog looking at a plate full of cookies. Dyck begins the book with all the promises we make to ourselves during the new year like reading our Bible and even losing weight till we fall flat on our faces. We have all done it in one way or another. He goes to address the issue of self-control and why it is important. In Proverbs 25, we see that a city without walls is like a man without self-control. In ancient times, a wall was used as a means of the defense against an invading army. If those walls have are broken down, the city is vulnerable. Without self-control, we are left without our defenses against sin. If we do not self-discipline ourselves, we will sub come to every temptation that comes our way whether it is lust or gluttony.
Throughout the book, Dyck shows the importance of self-control including why it is important to fight against temptation. Dyck says that self-control, according to the Bible, is "not as restrictive but rather as the path to freedom. It enables us to do what's right-and ultimately what's best for us." Self-control is not about keeping you from enjoying life but to enjoy the good things that God has given us and give him glory in our lives.
One thing I loved about the book is Dyck shows us that grace does not mean that we have no need for self-control. Titus 2 teaches that grace teaches us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions. We are under grace, but that does not mean we live like heathens. Self-control does not mean we keep ourselves from big sins, as we would define them, but also from the little sins. There are no big and little sins. There are just sins. Self-control means we keep our lives from sin. If we fail, we can run to God for forgiveness.
What does the title mean about our future self will thank us? Dyck quotes Tim Keller, "Your future self will always see your present self as unwise and immature. That means you are currently a fool right now." When we begin practicing self-control, we become wise that will enable us to make better decisions in the future will learning from our past mistakes. I am not sure if I would have titled the book the way Dyck did, but I get what he is saying that self-control is boring. It is not the most glamorous topic in all the world, which is probably why he needed a catchy title and a dog looking at a plate of cookies.
There are not many books on self-control. I guess you can call it the Cinderella of the fruit of the Spirit (please do not throw stones at me). I found the book enjoyable even though it is talking about a not-so energetic topic.