Self-control; June 15, 2020


Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient man than a warrior,
a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

The overall impact is the same, but it’s interesting to see that the Japanese renders this verse as, “He who slows his anger is better than a warrior, he who rules his heart is better than he who takes a city.” Countless people down through the ages have ruined their lives by impatience and lack of self-control of all sorts. It is hardly accidental that Paul told Timothy, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Likewise, the last fruit of the Spirit he listed was self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) When we are tempted to run wild in any way, the best course is always to choose to hand control over to the Holy Spirit and submit to Him. That applies in times when we’re too scared to move, too! Right now unbridled emotion and lack of self-control are being splashed over our screens with depressing frequency, and they are being applauded and even egged on by some in positions of authority. That is really sad. The Bible is clear that justice is of great concern to God, and we are to be agents of justice, but it is certainly true that “Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:20) God is the only one who is both wise enough and strong enough to keep it all together, so when we’re losing it, we need to turn things over to Him. It is indeed a major problem when those people charged with maintaining justice, either on the streets or in the courts, act contrary to justice, and we’ve seen and are seeing some horrible examples of that. However, listening to God to hear what He wants us to do about it is always the best course. Even those on the front lines in this battle aren’t to let their emotions or base motives control what they say and do. Modern technology gives us a front row seat, even if we aren’t directly involved in the conflict, so we have all we need to be prayer warriors, submitting our will so that God’s kingdom may come as His will is done.

As I wrote just yesterday, the flood of bad news can be overwhelming at times, but there too the answer is the Holy Spirit, just as Paul told Timothy. I am to live each moment in fellowship with God by His Spirit, submitting both my emotions and my impulses to Him, and acting on the impulses He gives me. His appointments are exciting, fun, and enormously productive! I am to remember that the reason for my existence is to fellowship with my Creator and please Him, and so delight to do just that. I know that He desires the absolute best for me, so I am to trust Him enough to give my absolute all to Him. My self-control is imperfect, so I need to replace it with God.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You did yesterday. I do pray that we would see the healings and the harvest that You are indicating You have planned for us, so that indeed Your kingdom may come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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