Welcome to December my friends! It’s been one of the longest years of my life. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I will be glad to say goodbye to 2020! But, there is one last fruit of the spirit I want to talk about before the year is over and, once again, it seems like the most appropriate one for December. You may have guessed by process of elimination, it’s self-control! Everyone’s favorite! Clearly that is a joke, with obesity rates on the rise around the world, out of control debt, and despite dropping divorce rates people still aren’t choosing “’til death do us part.” Let’s face it — self-control is hard! I think one of the hardest parts about it is admitting it is hard. Plus, we live in an instant gratification generation where you don’t need self-control you just need more money to fix your problems.
Let’s take a look at the definition of self-control, just in case we have forgotten. “Restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires.” We could also call it self-discipline or even good old willpower. Any way you spell it, it’s still going to have the same meaning for our lives. This verse in Proverbs gives it a good spin.
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28proverbs 25:28
Think about this city. With broken walls there is no more security. Anyone and anything can invade and take over. There is chaos in the streets because people are afraid. The leaders are no longer in control because they have been beaten by those who broke the walls. Basically, this city is in trouble. Now let’s look at our lives if we lack self-control. Anyone and anything can lead us down the wrong path because we are easily swayed. There is no order, and we follow any whim we want. We are no longer in control, but our impulses, emotions, and desires are. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Living with self-control is like finding the small gate that leads to life and living without it is like finding the wide road that leads to destruction.
Let’s be those who live with self-control and find life!