Thanks Vitamin Z
Throwing off restraint and discipline and yielding to the desire to gratify selfish appetites and cravings. Scripture warns against such a characteristic and urges, instead, self-control, generosity and consideration for others. (Taken from the Zondervan Dictionary of Bible Themes).
Why is it that self-indulgence seems to be our default mode, while self-control so often is completely spurned? I find the definition above to be troubling, because it is accurate.
In 1 Timothy 5:5-6, we get a stark picture of the consequences of self-indulgence. In this passage, the author (presumably Paul) is addressing the issue of widowhood. The language is strong:
5 She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, 6 but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.
She, this widow, if she becomes self-indulgent as opposed to setting her hope on God and praying night and day (earnestly, I might add), then she is dead. She is alive, but she is dead. Self-indulgence leads to a kind of death in our souls.
On the other hand, Self-control (discipline) is a fruit of the spirit: Take a look at what Galatians 5:22-23 have to say:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.