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Adding Self Control to your Knowledge

October 1, 2009

Fast Food Platter

Proverbs says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” The concept of self control is far from our thoughts most days. This concept is definitely far from the mind of the world. The adages such as “A penny saved is a penny earned” are not just completely forgotten, the basic truths behind them are scorned. When was the last time you saw a commercial on TV advocating self control? The closest thing to a call for self control in today’s culture comes oddly enough from beer manufacturers, “Drink responsibly.” Everything else wreaks of abandon, “Just do it”, “Your way, right away”, “I’m loving it”.

The person who will live his life with Biblical self control is a person who will be very different from this world. This person will be very clearly seen as something strange and unique in this self satisfying culture. Self control is more than just not buying everything you want, right when you see it. We live in a country of such bounty, that self control cannot be defined by the things available that we don’t have. Self control cannot be defined based on my lack of income or ability to access something. Self control is defined by who and what rules our decisions and choices. It is very important that we learn to add self discipline to our faith and works and knowledge.

It is very good that you are busy serving the Lord. It is wonderful that you are want to let the truths of the Bible change your life, but are you constantly giving in to your impulses? Do you do what you feel like, or what you should? Many people are truly trying to serve God, and yet when they get into positions of great desire or strong pressure they succumb instead of exercising self discipline. I routinely meet those who seem to have a real heart to please God, but they just can’t seem to do what they should. They are constantly falling into one sin or another. That is because they have not added to their faith self control. This is not to doubt their sincerity or their desires to improve. The problem is that they have never learned to control their lusts and to make choices based upon the truths of the Word instead of the immediate yearning of the flesh.

The Corinthians had this problem. They came to the Lord’s Supper and they had no self discipline, so some would get drunk, others that had plenty of food at home would gorge themselves so that those that were lacking at home had none at church either. They were a church without discipline. We need to be Christians with discipline, ones who can instruct our bodies to do what we want not the other way around. Paul describes those without self control very uniquely. He says, “their god is their bellies.” What kind of Christianity is it have to fill every grumbling in your stomach, or obey every moving in your innards? Much better to be led by the plain teachings of the Bible that will never steer you wrong.

Jeremiah 17:9 tells us very simply, “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?” Many times we are being led by something that is filled with deceit. Let us not live controlled by our passions, but as Paul lived, “keeping my body under subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become a cast away.”

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