9 December 2021

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city whose walls are broken through
    is a person who lacks self-control.

Lack of self-control renders a person defenseless. It is self-control that allows him to keep his wits about him. Self-control gives him the discernment to know what to do and what to say. Lack of self-control gives him over to his emotions so that he acts blindly and exposes his vulnerable side. Lack of self-control leads him to actions that will result in retribution or injury.

We blame our lack of self-control on outside forces – on another person who enraged us or on circumstances that were impossible to deal with. But the very term “self-control” belies the cause being outside. Our problem is not with being unable to control outside forces but the inside force of our hearts.

The sad truth is that we cannot fully control our hearts. Some of us are more successful than others in controlling our expressions; some of us have learned patience. But the kind of self-control needed to guard our sinful passions is not ours to claim. We must look to the Holy Spirit to guard our hearts. We must pray daily to the Lord to keep us from straying. Good intentions will not give us the self-control needed. Only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can do that kind of work.

Pray today for self-control. You don’t know what will happen, and it is certain that your Adversary will try to bring out your sinful passions. Pray for protection by the Holy Spirit and that he will give to you the strength at the time needed to exercise control and to turn what could have been meant for evil into something that brought about good.


Psalm 124

If the Lord had not been on our side—
    let Israel say—
if the Lord had not been on our side
    when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
    when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
    the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
    would have swept us away.

Praise be to the Lord,
    who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
    from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
    and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.