The Power of a Hyphen

From Rohn Peterson…

Recently in my Bible reading I ran across Titus 2:11-12 which states, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,”

There are two words in the above passage I like, self and control.  Unfortunately, they are joined by a hyphen, which technically makes them one word.  Self is an easy word to like.  I like to spend time thinking and doing things for me.  I also like the word control.  I like to control things perhaps so I can keep the world revolving around that other word, self.  However when the two words are put together with a hyphen, I become less enamored.  The notion of self-control implies that there are things in my self that are not good and need to be controlled.  And speaking of sex …(poor attempt at humor)… Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God:”

As I write this, the Supreme Court is deliberating on whether homosexuals have the right to marry in our country.  Homosexuality has become the sin of choice for public debate recently.  However, the sin of homosexuality has been around since the fall of mankind.   Man has struggled since the fall to remove the hyphen from the word self-control.   I cannot fully comprehend God’s view and judgment of sin and how the public acceptance and display of sin will play out in our society, but I do know that he exhorts me to join two words into one and then follow through with the concept it creates.  Self-control is not a popular word.  We run from it particularly when it applies to our deepest urges, homosexual and improper heterosexual urges included.  It is not an easy word to carry out.  However, when executed, self-control brings good to my life as a Christian and to those around me.

Now that I have shared my thoughts about self-control, I should probably go exercise.  Did I ever tell you how much I dislike certain hyphens?


HERE are some verses speaking to the fruit of the Spirit of self-control.