Now, what does Paul say about younger men? “Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled” (v. 6). The Greek for “self-controlled” (sophroneo) is an interesting word. It means, “be of sound mind, be in one’s right mind Mk 5:15; Lk 8:35; 2 Cor 5:13.—2. be reasonable, sensible, serious Ro 12:3; Tit 2:6.” (Gingrich) “Be in one’s right mind, think straight (MK 5.15), opposite μαίνομαι (be out of one’s mind, be insane); (2) of intellectual soundness be sensible, use good sense, be reasonable (2C 5.13); (3) of a measured and ordered way of life be self-controlled, be moderate, be sober (RO 12.3).” (Friberg)
There is a close connection between the first, second, and third definition by Friberg. If you are thinking straight (1), then you will be sensible and reasonable (2), and then you will live a self-controlled life (3). It begins in the mind and then shows itself in the actions.
Mark tells the story of a man with an unclean spirit who met Jesus in the tombs. No one could bind him with chains. He rent the chains apart. He was stronger than all men. Day and night, he was crying in the tombs and bruised himself with stones. When he saw Jesus, he fell down and said, “What have you to do with me Jesus Son of the Most High God?”
Jesus told the demons, “Come out of this man!” and then asked, “What is your name?”
He replied, “Legion, for we are many.”
Then the demons asked Jesus for permission to be sent to the pigs. Jesus allowed them. So they went to the pigs, about 2,000 of them. The pigs rushed down the bank into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
The people in town came out to see what had happened. “And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind [sophron], and they were afraid” (Mark 5:15).
The demon-possessed man was transformed by Jesus’ power. Before, he was running around. Now, he sits there. Before, he was naked. Now, he is clothed. Before, he was out of his mind. Now, he is in his right mind. He is thinking straight. He is self-controlled.
Young men, think straight, be sensible, and be self-controlled.
What causes you to think crookedly? There are many sources of crooked thoughts. A crooked sinful nature. A crooked world. Crooked values. Dirty movies. Twisted books. Twisted thoughts from your twisted friends.
Throw away the things that make you think crookedly. Flee youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:21). Don’t be a slave to your lusts. Don’t give in to your sinful nature. Master yourself. Control your thoughts and your feelings. Discipline your mind to think good thoughts, healthy thoughts. Regulate your impulses. Renounce worldly passions.
Go back to God and His Word. With God’s Word, you will think straight. Obey God’s will in God’s Word. Then you will live a self-controlled life.