Self Control

…be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.  1 Peter 4:7

 I don’t hear much about self-control in the Church these days.  I hear about how to let the Spirit have control over my life, which is wonderful.  I also hear about how I should trust Church leaders to control the affairs of the church, set policy, make administrative decisions for me/us.  I hear the world talking a lot about how physical trainers or life coaches and counselors can assist me with a myriad of problems, and I guess that’s helpful.  But I hear very little about me, controlling me.  The Bible says I should be trained in this discipline, so why do I hear so little about it when moving through religious circles these days?  Maybe the silence is a sign of the times…

Peter’s writings point to a time yet to come, a future time–a time when a clear head and self-control will be essential to our survival as Christians.  If that is true, then more practice in self control and clear headed thinking seems to this writer a valuable expenditure of her time.

My role model in self-control is Jesus Christ.  Simply put, He amazes me!  How he could have been mocked, spit upon, beaten and murdered without ever raising a hand, or calling down legions of angels to free him is often beyond the scope of my understanding.  I don’t know how you get there from here.  I have never had that kind of self-control, nor do I expect I ever will, but I applaud it!  Moreover, I exhalt the One who displayed it–that One who harnessed his desires and put them behind him in order to fulfill the will of his Father who was in heaven and had a plan for his life.  To God, and his only begotten Son, Jesus, be all glory!

Today, let’s pray together that the Church of Jesus Christ might have a better sense of what it means to take control over one’s self, behaving as we ought, keeping others needs in mind, deciding to spend our life in pursuit of those things God reveals to us as important to Him and clinging to the holiness the Spirit makes available to us.  May we each find a way to live self-controlled lives in the coming year, and more than that, may we each clear-mindedly choose to do so with Jesus’ hand in ours.

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