So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 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. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. –I Thessalonians 5:6-9
For someone like me, who tries to watch what I eat and maintain a healthy diet, we are coming into a dangerous time of year. In recent weeks we have purchased numerous boxes of cookie dough from various students selling them for local fund raisers. It seems that at least a few nights a week I come home and find the kitchen smelling like a bakery. Oh my, but those cookies are delicious. And it gets worse. Thanksgiving is not too far off with all the rich foods that accompany that day. This then leads into the Christmas season during which I have someone placing a plate of pie, cake, homemade candy, or cookies in front me about every five minutes. If we don’t want to pack on some unwanted pounds during this time of year, then self-control must be the order of the day.
This issue of self-control is relevant at all times; not just in regards to our eating habits, but to many other aspects of life as well. Our thought processes, personal conduct, how we handle conflict, and how we relate to others are all affected by how we manage self-control. The Word of God challenges us to be alert and self-controlled. There is never to be a time when our spiritual guard is let down. Self-control comes when we feel like blowing up at someone, but we instead respond with Christ-like patience. There will be moments when we feel like saying something unkind to a family member or co-worker. We might even begin to think in terms of getting even with someone who has wronged us. The power of Christ, functioning in us, compels us to rise above such self-centered impulses and follow instead the power of the Holy Spirit. Self-control is a must when we feel the urge to do anything that compromises our principles and integrity.
Do you suppose you will have some opportunities to practice God ordained self-control today? The answer is obvious: of course you will. As we walk through daily life we are commanded by the Lord to let His light shine from our lives. The light of Christ shines brightest from us when we are daily practicing self-control which leads to spiritual victory. Do not be discouraged and do not become disheartened if you have failed in some areas. Remember that God isn’t through with us yet. As followers of Christ, we are all a work in progress.
Move forward, trust the Lord, and let His light shine through. Joy, peace, and spiritual victories are waiting for you today.