Self Control (Proverbs 25)

Pro 25:6-7, 14, 16, 27-28 NKJV Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of the great; (7) For [it is] better that he say to you, “Come up here,” Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen. … (14) Whoever falsely boasts of giving [Is like] clouds and wind without rain. … (16) Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, Lest you be filled with it and vomit. … (27) [It is] not good to eat much honey; So to seek one’s own glory [is not] glory. (28) Whoever [has] no rule over his own spirit [Is like] a city broken down, without walls.

Dear Son, I heard a story about a man who was supposed to be the rightful king of a nation but his brother held him prisoner and ruled in his stead. The brother was a clever man. To keep the rightful king imprisoned all he did was place him in a room with narrow doors that a regular man could fit through. Each day he ordered a large array of delicious food, sweets, and pastries sent up to the kings room and each day the king showed no self control and ate everything. The result was that he was too fat to leave the room. Certainly his wicked brother made sure the food was available, but the king had become a prisoner of his own appetite.

So it is with a man who has no self-control. He could be free to live in the world, yet he is held captive by his tastes and impulses. He hasn’t leaned to say, “That’s enough.” It’s healthy to practice self control and place limits on your consumption. In my life there are times where I have fasted every Thursday for an extended period of weeks. There have also been times when I’ve given up sweets or coffee for 40 days. I wish I had learned these disciplines earlier in my life. The reason I do them now is that I don’t want my appetite for these things to rule me. It’s also true that I’ve limited my freedoms by my lack of self-control in the past.

Self control isn’t just about overeating. It is also about controlling your tongue and knowing when to speak and when to hold your peace. It’s about knowing the thoughts you have and being able to filter them to express yourself in a way that is appropriate for the moment. It’s about not spending the money that’s in your pocket and holding on to it to pay your bills or save up for a big expense. It’s about knowing who is coming behind you and making sure that there is room for them as well. My prayer for you is that you will be known as a man with self control.

Father, thank you for the grace of being a dad. I pray for my children to know how to control themselves. There is so much I wish I had leaned earlier about self control. I pray they all learn in now while they are young and practice selfcontrol for your glory and their freedom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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