Why can’t I control my anger? Or stop overeating? Or wasting time online?
Why can't I seem to finish my projects? Or make progress in my spiritual life?
Why do I fall for the same stupid temptations over and over again?
When we fail, its easy to make excuses or blame our circumstances. But let’s face it: the biggest enemy is usually the one staring back at us from the mirror every morning.
We lack self-control.
Self-control isn’t very popular these days. We tend to think of it as boring, confining, the cop that shows up and shuts down the party. But the truth is that people who cultivate this vital virtue lead freer, happier, and more meaningful lives. After all, our bad habits—from the slight to the serious—bring a host of painful consequences. Ultimately, they keep us from becoming the people God created us to be.
Your Future Self Will Thank You is a compassionate and humorous guide to breaking bad habits and growing your willpower. It explores Scripture’s teachings on how to live a disciplined life while offering practical strategies for growth based on the science of self-control. Whether you want to deepen your spiritual life, conquer an addiction, or kick your nail-biting habit, this book will help you get motivated, stay on track, and achieve your goals.
Sure, self-control is hard, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. Get the help you need to be freer, happier, and more productive. Your future self will thank you!
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About the Author
DREW DYCK (M.A. in Theology) is an editor at Moody Publishers and the former managing editor of Leadership Journal. His work has been featured in USA Today, the Huffington Post, Christianity Today, and CNN.com. Drew is the author of Generation Ex-Christian and Yawning at Tigers. He lives with his wife Grace and their three children near Portland, Oregon. Connect with Drew at www.DrewDyck.com or follow him on Twitter @DrewDyck.
Table of Contents
A Foundation For The Soul
Why I Need This Book More Than You Do 9
1 Why Self-Control?
Because It Leads to Freedom and Flourishing 17
2 Sorry, Self-Control Isn't About You
How the Right Purpose Guides and Fuels Self-Control 35
3 Meeting The Enemies
What Scripture Says about Fighting the Flesh and the Devil 59
4 Hope For Growth
How to Grow Your Puny Willpower Muscles 75
5 The Transforming Power Of Habits
Making Self-Control Automatic 95
6 Training Your Elephant
Building Healthy Habits into Your Life 115
7 Grace Means I Don't Need Self-Control
… And Other Dumb Things Christians Think 141
8 Disciplines Living In An Age Of Distraction
Strategies for Self-Control in the Digital Era 165
9 Learning From Addicts
What Rehab Programs Reveal about Self-Control 191
Life Under Control
My Prayer for You 213
What People are Saying About This
Praise for Your Future Self Will Thank You
Few books have the potential to change your life as much as this one. I found it personally encouraging and challenging at the same time a profound and practical reservoir of wisdom. Don’t just read it. Highlight it, underline it, and most of all, implement its teachings in your life. Transformation awaits!
Lee StrobelNew York Times best-selling author of The Case for Christ and The Case for Miracles
It’s strange to describe a book on self-control as compulsively readable, but that’s how it is. I had no idea that learning how to get a grip on myself could be so enlightening, inspiring, and flat-out entertaining. And helpful, to boot. But that’s how it is. Drew Dyck’s latest work is a page-turner and an eye-opener. I simply couldn’t muster enough self-control to put it down. But before you judge me, you try, and see how well you do.
Mark BuchananAuthor, Your Church Is Too Safe
It isn’t an overstatement to say that nearly everything ailing our society, our communities, our families, and ourselves is rooted in our lack of self-control. This malady was addressed in the past by celebrating the virtues of self-discipline and self-sacrifice. In other words, the culture helped us acquire the self-control necessary to create a flourishing existence. Those days are over. Now virtually everything in our culture celebrates self-centeredness and has convinced us that not satisfying our desires is a form of self-betrayal rather than self-improvement. Where our culture has failed us, however, Drew Dyck has stepped into the breach. His book is a winsome and important exploration of the forgotten virtue that has been foundational to the Christian life, and to free societies, for two millennia. This is a conversation more churches and Christian communities need to be having, and Dyck is the right voice to start it.
Skye JethaniAward-winning author and co-host of the Holy Post Podcast
This book was exactly what I wanted it to be: Big Science + Deep Bible + Practical Next Steps. I love what Drew has done here!
Jon AcuffNew York Times bestselling author of Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
Here’s the straight up truth: you need to read this book. The only thing wrong with this book is that it wasn’t written and handed to me when I was a teenager! Drew Dyck’s newest book is necessary on every level. Not only is this book true and practical, it’s a lot of fun! Drew has a winsome way of explaining things that make the book a pleasure to read. I plan on getting this book into the hands of everyone I know.
Daniel FuscoPastor of Crossroads Community Church Author, Upward, Inward, Outward: Love God, Love Yourself, Love Others
This book is perfect for the times we are living in. Society tells us to go for the instant gratification. “It’s all about you! If it feels good, do it!” Yet on the whole, I don’t know if we have ever been more unfulfilled or restless. This book convincingly presents the opposite viewpoint—that discipline is the path to contentment. Of course that’s easier said than done. I appreciated the author’s self-effacing tone, and his invitation to ride shotgun on his personal road trip to discovering the ability and virtue of self-control. The truths this book uncovers about this all important character trait give hope to all of us. Read Your Future Self Will Thank You because your future self really will thank you.
Matt BirkFormer NFL player and Super Bowl ChampionCEO, Matt Birk and Company
Self-control is something we all need but not something we like to admit we need. In Your Future Self Will Thank You, Drew Dyck pulls back the curtain on our lack of self-control to help guide us to help (and the Helper). Your future self will thank you for reading and heeding this book!
Trillia NewbellAuthor, If God is For Us, Fear and Faith, United, and the kids' book God's Very Good Idea.
Over the past decade, researchers have developed a rich understanding of how self-control really works. They’ve answered questions such as how to get more of it, how to best use it, and what depletes it. In this important book, my friend Drew Dyck does a great job of making sense of what this research means for Christians. He engages it with a biblical worldview, and tells us what we need to know to live more fruitful lives of more self-control. Well done!
Bradley Wrigh Sociologist, University of Connecticut Author, Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World
I couldn't help but endorse this book. I had no control over the way it both challenged me and also gave me hope. As someone who has struggled all my life with personal discipline, it was a helpful guide. Most of all, unlike most self-help books, it comes at you from two unique and often unheard perspectives: from someone who actually struggles and someone who has wrestled with grace. This book will not beat you up, but it won't make you feel warm and fuzzy. Instead, it is a gospel-saturated, science-based approach to stewarding your life. Drew Dyck is one of the most arresting writers in the evangelical world. So go get this book today. It will be the one impulse buy you won't regret!
Daniel DarlingCommunications VP at Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission Author, The Dignity Revolution: Reclaiming God’s Rich Vision for Humanity
Drew Dyck writes with candor, humor, and urgency about a subject that has never been more essential, but more elusive than it is today–the importance of self-control. Your Future Self Will Thank You is a well-researched, accessible, and practical book about one of the Bible’s most central, but most overlooked principles for living a godly, joyful, and purposeful life.
Karl VatersAuthor, Small Church Essentials and The Grasshopper Myth
In our cultural moment, I cannot think of many subjects more in need of discussion than self-control. And I can’t think of a better person to lead that discussion than Drew Dyck. Dyck’s winsome voice pairs approachability with theological clarity and direct exhortation. He made me smile and see my own folly at the same time. I have much to learn on the subject of self-control, which makes me especially thankful for this book.
Russ RamseyPastor of Christ Presbyterian Church Cool SpringsAuthor, Retelling the Story Series
Okay, I’ll admit it: I procrastinated picking up this book. But was so glad when I did! Your Future Self Will Thank You combines rich biblical insight, fascinating scientific research, and on-the-ground practical wisdom on the nature of self-control and how to integrate it into your life. While temptations and distractions are everywhere in our digital age, Drew Dyck ivites us—with humor, wit, and a lot ovulnerability—to join him on a journey of transformation that ultimately empowers us to better love God, others . . . and our future self.
Joshua Ryan ButlerPastor of Redemption ChurchAuthor, The Skeletons in God’s Closet and The Pursuing God
Your Future Self Will Thank You is a practical manual and insightful field-guide to living a productive, fruitful life. With a mixture of informative psychological studies, interviews, biblical wisdom, and personal stories, Drew Dyck has written an incredible resource to help you create a life-giving future story.
Paul AngoneAuthor, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties (And Let's Be Honest, Your Thirties Too)