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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Self Control or Controlling Self?




 


                                           A person without self-control is like a house
                                              with its doors and windows knocked out.
                                                          Proverbs 25:28 (MSG)


  I have read that scripture many times but until I looked at this picture did not realize the depths of how a lack of self control could produce such devastation.  Somewhere in the life of this house it was left to ruin.  It is easy to let things go as they age...an older building usually takes more care then a new one.  My thoughts go to: Gal 5: 22  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control:  against such things there is no law.  I have to wonder if self control is what all the rest of the fruits of the Spirit hinge on.  Without self control none of the fruits of the Spirits will ever be evidence in my life and I  would become like that house. 

When  my faith was brand spanking new, I was so eager  to work at scriptures such as Gal. 5:22.  First, God gave me  a whole new vocabuary.  Within a few months I was convicted about my smoking...it bothered me that a little skinny paper tube with tobacco in it could make me dig through the trash to find a half smoked cigerette.  After a  battle of withdrawals I finally laid them down.  Have never picked them again, praise God for His help.  It was then I realize this one fruit, self control, could bring the rest of the fruit to a harvest.  Trust me it did  not happen over night but slowly God begin to replace my wanting to please  myself to pleasing Him.

Now that I am older in the Lord it is easier to use my age as an excuse to not exercise self control or control of self.  This thought sometimes runs through my mind, I am a mature Christian I can watch or read this and not be affected.  With lots of spiritual battles under my belt you would think it would make the battle easier...not so.  Oh I know more scripture then I did when my faith was new but it's easy to fall back on all those experiences for motivation to over come the flesh.  Below are  some of the things I still  battle.

1. What comes out of my mouth...   Pro. 13:13 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. 

2. My reactions to hurts... Oh do I ever need self control on this one or my temper will tear others down like the house in the picture.  Pro. 19:11 If you're sensible, you'll control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it's a great virture to ignore it. 

3. My schedule. ..The first word speaks volume...for when it's "MY" schedule instead of the Lords I will be frustrated.  Ephesian 5:15-16 Live life with a due sense of responsibility . Make the best use of my time. 

4. My money...there I go again calling it "MY MONEY" ...Proverbs 20:21 A wise man or woman saves for the future, but the foolish man or woman spends what he or she gets.  There is so much out there to bring temptation to buy, buy, buy. 

5. My health...This one really gets to me...Pro. 23:3 If you have a  big appetitie, restrain yourself...control self's love of Taco Bell.

There are many thing we cannot control, the weather so it will not rain on our parade,  and the tides from going in and out among many other things.  God does not require that we control things that are beyond us.  When we try it turns into worry.  Some things we just need to accept and work our way through.   Our biggest disappointments come when we try to control people, especially our own children we have reared from birth.    Our children need for us to understand the truths of the Word on a lack of self control so we do not pass onto them a "victim" mentality. 

Proverbs 16:32 shows a more positive side of self-control: "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Here Solomon uses an entirely different word for "rule," but the sense of self-control remains. A comparison of the two proverbs reveals the great importance of self-control as both an offensive and defensive attribute.  Self control defeats the enemy, the world and the flesh

                                  God help me to live like a victor and 
                                         not a victim.