Monday, December 29, 2014

Prayer and Self-Control (PrayerLife)

One of the things I pray for is self-control. Being self-controlled is part of a flourishing, fruitful life. Self-control is good; lack of it is bad.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Paul writes:

6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night....  8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled...

Here we see that "drunk" is bad because it is "of the night/darkness" and leads to out-of-control-ness. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22-23 that a person under the influence of the Holy Spirit is self-controlled. That is, "self-control" is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. When people are attached to the Spirit self-control results.

Such fruit is important in today's addiction culture. An addict is someone who is "attached" to something that controls him. (The French word for 'addiction' is, as Gerald May has told us, attache.) The addict, being attached to sexual urges, drugs, food, even 'control,' is non-self-controlled. The addict cannot, meaningfully, say 'Yes' to the good and 'No' to the bad. 

Self-control seems as valuable today as it has ever been. 

Self-control is freedom.

Pray for self-control today.