Proverbs 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” NASU
Yesterday I asked regarding ‘blind spots’ and our Christian walk – “Are You Consistent?” Today I want to ask more questions beginning with the following:
ARE YOU SELF-CONTROLLED?
Romans 8:28 (Phillips) – “Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to His Plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good.”
This verse does not say that everything that happens is good. It says that it will ultimately work for the good. Its focus is on the ‘finished product’ not the ‘process’ and ‘incidences’ along the way. One of the greatest evidence of our walk in the Holy Spirit is the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ in our lives and those include ‘self-control’ and ‘temperance.’ Have you ever asked yourself why it is a mark of distinction to manifest a ‘controlled life?’ What is ‘self-control’? What happens when ‘self-control’ is taken to the extreme?
Self-control referenced in the Bible is the quality of abiding or resting in the Lord. When our entire world is being torn apart, tensions and trials are raging, and men’s hearts are failing them for fear of what they see or perceive is happening or going to the Holy Spirit enables the believer to demonstrate a peace and tranquility that surpasses human understanding. It is trust in God’s Promises and Resting in them. One of the reasons a leader or anyone needs to exhibit ‘self-control’ is STABILITY. People are looking for and longing for Stability and Reality in life. When the storms of life rage we need stability and that will come with ‘self-control’ or ‘Spirit Control.’
Remember Peter’s reminder of Jesus’ words in 1 Peter 5:7 where we are counseled to ‘cast all our cares or anxieties upon Him because He cares for us.’ Jesus said in Mathew 11:28-20 that we can come to Him and He will give us rest. As believers, we need to ‘overwhelm’ the world with our calmness and tranquility in the midst of turmoil.
DO YOU THINK INDEPENDENTLY?
Palms 1:1 – “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!”
People who study such matters tell us that the ‘real key’ as to whether a person conforms to the pressure of the group or resists peer pressure is whether it comes from that person’s ‘inner personal convictions’ or from the ‘external mores of his peer group.’ An individual with a strong healthy ‘self-image’ and ‘confidence in God’ will more readily resist negative peer pressure than one who does not have those attributes. It takes strength to say NO!
There are two groups who cannot or do not ‘think for themselves’: The Classic Conformist and the Classic Non-Conformist. Some people have a ‘convoy mentality’. Their life is lived by simply follow the directions of the crowd and we all know how dangerous that can be. In Psalms 1 there are three words that need to be considered: “Walk, Stand, Sit”. This demonstrates a progression away from godly principles. The Psalmist indicates that ‘walking, standing and sitting’ are deliberate choices. Once we have broken the first barrier of ‘walking’ it is easier to feel comfortable ‘standing’ with sinners and once we accept their mindset can easily and comfortably ‘sit’ with them.
May God be with you as you go through your day!