September 16, 2009

Under Control

Written by Boyd Bailey

Under Control… “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control”. Proverbs 29:11

There is nothing noble about losing control of our emotions. We can justify it as being in the heat of the moment or a feeling of frustration, but this is not an acceptable excuse. Wise men and women are able to harness passion for productive purposes. By God’s grace they channel negative energy into a Christ-like response. Otherwise, lack of self-control exposes them to the enemy’s lies and temptations, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28).

How can we demonstrate determination without it becoming detrimental to those around us? How can we avoid crossing the line from a focused concern to an immature rant? There is a calm civility that only Christ can create and sustain. It is in the firestorm of frustration that faith in Jesus becomes our default for behavior. Fools lose control for lack of faith, while the wise stay under control trusting in Christ to bring about the best outcome. “But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” (1 Thessalonians 5:8).

Perhaps the feeling of anger within you means something did not go as you expected, you did not get your way. So you are tempted to pent-up your anger and endanger your health or vent your anger and offend others. But Spirit filled followers of Jesus are able to exercise self-control. They surrender to being the center of attention and submit instead to the Lordship of Christ. He is in control, therefore, He will work it out in His perfect time. Be patient, do not use the advantage of your position as a power play to get your way.

Do I pray for the ones who anger me? Do I release personal offences in prayer to God and learn to love my offenders? Instead of defending yourself, pray when you are provoked. Talk less and trust more. This leaves room for the Lord to lead all parties into a deeper walk with Him. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Thus daily, by God’s grace, I am emptied of self and filled with the Spirit. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12).

Related Readings: Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalm 4:4; Acts 4:31; Galatians 5:22-24

Transformational Living
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