Your Future Self Will Thank You - Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible & Brain Science


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

I like this one. It's one of the rare book with "God" in it that I can read with pleasure.
The author seems humble enough, and willing enough to dig deep into his "foundations", and is kind enough to being the reader with him in this journey.
His epiphany starts with realizing he lacks of "self-control", which is the core virtue, every other stands upon.
His style is logical, and nice to read.


Introduction - A Foundation for the Soul: Why I Need This Book More Than You Do

Your future self will always see your present self as unwise and immature. That means you are currently a fool right now.

—- TIM KELLER


STUCK IN REVERSE

I’ll never arrive at perfection, not in this life. I don’t expect to. But shouldn’t Christians expect to make some progress? Shouldn’t they gradually overcome bad habits and besetting sins? Shouldn’t they become more humble and selfless?
“Are you more spiritual today than you were twenty years ago?”
“I’m not talking about how much you know”
In that twenty years, I’d attended church hundreds of times, sang thousands of Christian songs. I’d graduated from seminary. I’d written books. About God! But was I more spiritually mature? Less enslaved to sin?
In many ways, I’m stuck—or even moving in reverse.

FINDING THE FOUNDATION

What was the secret to their extreme piety? Philo offered an explanation. “Having first laid down self-control as a foundation for the soul,” he wrote, “they build the other virtues on it.”

Think about it. Can you be faithful to your spouse without self-control? Can you be generous without self-control? Peaceable? Selfless? Honest? Kind? No, even the most basic altruism requires suspending your own interests to think of others. And that can’t happen without self-control. The theologian Thomas Aquinas called temperance (another word for self-control) a cardinal virtue. He taught that none of the other virtues—including humility, meekness, mercy, and studiousness—could be developed without it.
“Self-control is an instrumental virtue. It facilitates the acquisition/development of other virtues: joy, gratitude, generosity.”
Self-control is key.
The insight about my lack of self-control was enlightening.
I realized that lurking behind my inability to make progress was a deficiency in this cardinal virtue.

The chief reason I couldn’t follow through on my plans, why I felt chronically stuck in my spiritual life, why my best-laid plans and highest ambitions went unfulfilled day after day, year after year, really boiled down to one maddening, embarrassing, surprising, and undeniable truth: I lacked self-control.
if things were really going to change, I had to work on the foundation.

Books are written by people who have either mastered a topic or by those who desperately need to.
While this is a personal journey, I don’t plan to go it alone.
Self-control is a spiritual topic—and a psychological one.
I want to make progress in important areas of life by cultivating self-control. I want a firmer foundation for my soul.
If you have the same goal, keep reading.


Chapter 1 - Why Self-Control? Because It Leads to Freedom and Flourishing

“He who reigns within himself and rules passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.”

—- JOHN MILTON