Russell and Duenes

The Despised Virtue

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Like a city broken into and without walls is the man who lacks self-control (Prov.25:28)

But the fruit of the Spirit is…self-control (Gal.5:22-23)

I think we view “self-control” as a kind of throwaway at the end of the list of spiritual fruit. “Love, joy, peace…and, oh yeah, self-control.” It’s pretty hard to sell self-control in a “Just Do It” culture. We often feel, or are led to believe that we’re being inauthentic, “not real,” if we don’t give expression to our thoughts and desires. So rather than exercise self-control, we often blurt out destructive words that can lead to a lifetime of pain and resentment, give way to over-eating, gambling or sexual immorality, and generally fritter away the few hours of our lives here on earth. We simply cannot control ourselves long enough to sit and meditate on God and His Word. This is my biggest problem. Too many hours are wasted on trifles due to my lack of self-control.

Sometimes a reputation that one has spent a lifetime creating is destroyed in an instant in time for want of self-control, or, which may be worse, a future one hoped to have is dashed because a guy “just had to” make it with the girl in his high school biology class.

The apostle Paul said something that is practically anathema to us today: “I pummel my body and subdue it, lest after to preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified from the prize.” On the flip side, he wrote, “Do not live as unwise people, but as wise, making the most of the time because the days are evil.” This seems especially important for our young people who have grown up on a steady diet of self-esteem propaganda and would rather be “real” than wise. But when we do not teach and model self-control, we leave them with a precarious life and reputation, defenseless, like a city without walls.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

October 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

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