Self-Controlled to be Holy
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:13-25
Key Verse: 1 Peter 1:22-23
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Dictionary.com defines self-control as: control or restraining of oneself or one’s actions, feelings, etc. Another way to say that is: self-control is the ability to delay short-term gratification in favor of a long-term outcome. Seems simple enough, but I think we all know that this world makes it incredibly hard to do. Every day we are inundated with images, words, and impulse buying opportunities. Where does it all end? Just today I read a story of a man who wanted desperately to be a tight rope walker; he was consumed with how people cheered for his friend and he wanted that same short-term gratification. When his friend told him the years of training and patience and hard work it took to learn how to balance correctly, he wanted no part of that. So a week after this conversation and with no training at all, he decided to walk a tight rope that connected two buildings 10 stories in the air. He didn’t get the applause he was looking for, only the horrified gasps as he fell to his death.
While that is an extreme vision of a lack of self-control, it shows us how quickly and easily we can fall into temptation. We can fight this though with Christ as our guide, through the “living and enduring Word of God.” For me, when I’m faced with all of those daily short-term gratifications, usually revolving around food, I remind myself that God is stronger than ANY temptation this world can throw at me.
I think it’s safe to say that we all want the long-term outcome of an eternal life with our Savior, Jesus Christ. With Him, we can stand firm and exercise self-control against the temporary offerings of this world.
Dear Savior, show me how to be an imperishable seed through your living Word. Help me to be that holy person, showing sincere love to this fallen world. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.