This week we add self-control.
When I think of self-control I hear my dad’s voice telling me to get a grip. I keep this broken handle to remind me I really do have a grip.
Self-control follows knowledge in our list of things we must add to our faith. So it would seem, self-control involves putting into practice what is learned of God.
A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out. Proverbs 25:28, The Message.
When we lack self-control or are lazy about engaging it, we set ourselves up as easy prey for the enemy.
The self-control spoken of in the Bible is a gift from God through the Spirit. The Spirit “teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:12)
So I we need a grip on the Spirit to get a grip in life.
How do you do at waiting?
Me, not so good. I like my instant cocoa and pudding. I count on my microwave. The other night my husband was in a foul mood because he waited over twenty minutes in the drive-thru at Taco Bell.
Over the years, Advent has become a good exercise in self-control; a reminder that I really don’t live in an instant world.
Have you noticed the two separate lines of thinking and behavior as it deals with this season? On the one hand, people complain mightily about how Christmas is creeping further into the year as retailers begin setting up displays as early as September—but then they whine about having to wait for the day to arrive…and be over.
I remember one Christmas our church was going to observe a “strict” Advent. That didn’t go over well. The big beef was having to wait to sing Christmas hymns and songs.
So this Advent, I’m going to purposely focus on waiting. Each day will highlight an applicable scripture passage and a prayer for a specific group who are “waiting.”
I hope you join me and find a blessing as mark the days of this holy season.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Pro. 3:5-6, ESV)
The biggest deterrent to waiting is the ability to trust. At the beginning of this Advent let’s determine to grow in our trust of God. He has the big picture in view and our best interests in mind. Test him, he truly is worthy of your trust.
Prayer: God of time who is beyond time and over time, walk with us in this Advent season and teach how to trust…and to wait. Be especially near to those who are waiting for someone they love to come home. Amen.