Marriage Fruit: Self-control
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28).
This is one that is always good to “digest” more than once. Self-control is the art of putting what’s best ABOVE what we want. This can be hard in marriage. Especially, when we come from single or previously married lifestyles of repeatedly acting on those impulses and desires or customarily receiving them. It has been my experience that most of us are aware, from the gate, that this behavior is selfish and destructive to our attitudes and environments. Environment, meaning current physical location. That can be home, work, hanging with friends, visiting relatives, etc. We want what we want when we want it! The mindset is, “No one will remain calm or comfortable as long as I am not!” Hey friend! Wherever we are when allowing this behavior to take us over, we cause damage. That is the blunt truth of it all, no matter how much we justify the behavior. Lack of self-control is not appealing to anyone. It could contaminate what is left of your life.
Think along these lines. The true definition of sin is your will over God’s will. No matter how we try to slice it, the truth of it remains unchanged. Responding to people and issues without self-control is your placing God’s will on the back burner. I know, I know. Jesus was angry in the temple when He drove the money changers out. What we witness in this and other accounts is His expressing moral indignation at pivotal moments to teach us eternal lessons. C’mon! Using the house of God as a vehicle for monetary activity, instead of encouraging spiritual living reveals a wrong heart that worships money. Jesus recognized the state of their hearts and knew they were not in the temple to have an encounter with God. They were there to make money from those who were coming to for that reason. Yes, there is a time to become angry, and it can warrant taking action. Yet, Jesus did not injure anyone by offending the ungodly nature that was within their hearts. He had to have acted under self-control to address the sin without actually hurting the sinner. What does the Bible tell us next? Immediately after, He began to heal the blind and the sick right in the temple! Apparently, He wasn’t in the wrong but making a situation; restoring the purpose of the temple for the sake of those who were in need of an encounter with the God.
Irresponsibility & Self Indulgence:
Lacking the ability to govern oneself is running rampart in today’s society. The truth of this theory is in the news and social media every day. We simply do not have to. It is our God-given right to--Wrong! Stop right there! That is not even scriptural. Some may argue that the Bible is not the authority of what is right and wrong in today’s culture, but for believers whose authority are we supposed to be governed by? Choose ye this day, huh? Before Matthew cautions us in chapter 6 about being anxious for nothing, he explains that no man can serve two authorities. It will eventually result in him loving one and hating the other. I believe this is positioned perfectly in the Bible, right after the teaching of where to lay up our treasures and before he cautions us about the dangers of being concerned about our needs and desires. For me, this is a clue that anxiety about my future is a result of me choosing the wrong master. Hmmm…
When you consciously and consistently make choices that turn you away from God’s presence, you have chosen your will over His by avoidance. Not wanting to be accountable and reliable are not God-like characteristics. Thinking of your own needs instead of considering how your will (sin) affects others connected to you is certainly not His nature. A Father who gives His only begotten Son to an ungracious race of beings has no self-interest in Him. These are sin-natured characteristics that will only increase and make your love for God wax cold. (Matt. 24:12)
When you are a city with no walls, anything comes out and… ANYTHING can come in. At the end of the destruction, we can only blame ourselves for sabotaging our own life situations if we do not allow Holy Spirit to "weed" this out of our nature. When you think about it, it simply isn't a "good look", as we like to say. We have to remember that we are disciples as well as discipling 24/7. What message are we sending out to those around us when we lack this specific characteristic in ourselves? Even worse, it will not change the circumstances or the recipients’ perception of you or the situation. So, what are we "out of control" for? To make matters worse? That's pretty much all we accomplish.
Hey friend! Self-control is a quality that is part of the fruit of the Spirit. Again, there was not a time when Jesus lost control to the point that the will of His Father was not completed or was derailed. And as we grow in Christ we begin to understand how necessary it is for all Christians to develop this fruit on their vine in their walk with the Creator. Isn't that one of the ways we are "allowed" to judge one another? So how will you be judged in your next episode of frustration or a chance at responsibility? Just food for thought!
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.