The IMPORTANCE of SELF-CONTROL in our LIVES
July 7 Bible Reading: Proverbs Chapters 25-27
"Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls." (Prov 25:28)
God uses the clear illustration of an undefended city to show us how important self-control is for our spiritual protection. Self-control is the ability to rule over our own spirit; to judge all things by the word of God; to say yes to what pleases God, and to reject what God hates. It is important to give attention to this because destructive things can barge into our lives once they find an entrance or foothold in our weakness. Broken down walls can be compared to a weak and undefended spirit that leaves us vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. These include the incursions of evil thoughts and successful temptations. Lacking self-control means that we will lack our most important line of defense and it is inevitable that we will soon lie in spiritual ruin.
Self-control is thus very important in our spiritual life. It is mentioned as being the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:23, and one of the Christian virtues that must be added to our faith in 2 Peter 1:6. One who lacks self-control is one who has already allowed himself to be drawn away by his own desires (James 2:14). He has given up the very thing that will prevent sin from entering in, and death will be the end result (v. 15). King David failed to exercise self-control when he lingered in looking at Bathsheba bathing (2 Samuel 11:2). If his "wall of defense" had been in place, he would have turned away and thought nothing else of it, but his lack of self-control led to temptation entering in and, subsequently, sin!
We can improve self-control in our lives by building defense against the attack of our one and only enemy - Satan. We can do that by putting on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:11) and by quenching the fiery darts of Satan through our faith in God (v. 16). Instead of filling up our minds with the worldly "junk”, we should think only those things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of a good report (Phil 4:8). Secondly, we should always determine that we are training to win. To do that we need to read/meditate/memorize the word of God regularly so that we can know the truth (John 8:31-32) and have a ready answer for every temptation (e.g. Jesus - see Matt 4:1-11). The devil will always flee if we resist him (1 Peter 5:8, 9), but we must first resist! We need to set aside our sins and patiently run the race before us (Hebrews 12:1, 2). Finally, we must stay alert at all times. It is vital that we are ready at all times for our enemy is always looking to attack us in a weak moment (1 Peter 5:8). We must be always ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15) and we must always stand ready to fight the enemy (Eph 6:13). It is therefore essential for us to have self-control to be able to fulfill God’s plan in our lives!