Thursday, February 07, 2013

By Belinda

"Aargh, I can't believe I did it again!" Have you ever found those words more frequent flyers on the airline of your life, than you wished? I know I have.

I was thinking about that this morning and pretty much complaining to God about it. I mean, how often have I prayed, "Make me more like you?" 

"When is he going to take me up on the offer?" I wondered to myself. 

Then I realized that the weakness I was frustrated about at that moment, is not really a weakness at all; it's just part of who I am; in my DNA and neither bad nor good. 

This morning it was my quick reactions that I was feeling hopeless about; but I also respond quickly in many ways that aren't negative. For instance if you enjoy watching movies in peace and quiet--do not watch them with me. And at concerts I am the first and last to applaud, and may be the first to jump to my feet in a standing ovation. I have conversations in my head all the time, about toning down my impulse to express myself and thus draw attention my way.

I realized that who we are is not the issue. The self is a good gift, but like all the gifts God gives: time; finances; talents etc., it is to be stewarded; an old fashioned word that means "managed."

I thought, "Wow, I wonder if that's why 'self control' is mentioned so often in scripture?" And I flipped open my Bible to look in the book of Peter for the verses that have the list of qualities such as kindness, gentleness etc.--and self control. On the page I opened to, my eyes fell, not on those verses, but on another passage entirely; and the words "self control" seemed to jump off the page--although here in the Easy to Read Version, which I like a lot lately, it just says "control:"

1 Peter 5:6-8

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
So be humble under God’s powerful hand. Then he will lift you up when the right time comes. Give all your worries to him, because he cares for you.Control yourselves and be careful! The devil is your enemy, and he goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to attack and eat.


"Self control;" the self is like a car--it can get us places and be a great asset--but if not driven carefully has the potential to do great damage. 

I finally found the verses I was looking for in the first place:

2 Peter 1:3-9

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

God Has Given Us Everything We Need

Jesus has the power of God. And his power has given us everything we need to live a life devoted to God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus chose us by his glory and goodness, through which he also gave us the very great and rich gifts that he promised us. With these gifts you can share in being like God. And so you will escape the ruin that comes to people in the world because of the evil things they want.Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who don’t grow in these blessings are blind. They cannot see clearly what they have. They have forgotten that they were cleansed from their past sins.
And here's another great verse on the topic. Peter had a lot to say about self control I notice. Maybe God spoke through him so much on this topic because  he was also a man of quick impulses both for good and bad:

1 Peter 4:7

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Be Good Managers of God’s Gifts

The time is near when all things will end. So keep your minds clear, and control yourselves. This will help you in your prayer
Be blessed in your day!



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear - I was just "complaining" to God today. Asking why it is I always attrack the needy? How come I don't have friend of means (you know, the ones with a cabin or a boat)? It seems like I'm always the one having to organize, the one that "thinks of every thing". I'm probably the "sickest" of any of my friends, even family - yet I'm considered the strong one. Some days I am so tired - like today. Some days I want to just be taken care of - like today.

The scripture you shared hit me: "Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge; 6 to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; 7 to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. 8 If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God."

Thanks for the reminder and the ongoing challenge.

Belinda said...

Dear Anonymous, God's precious word does not return void. God bless you abundantly for all you do for others and I thank him for his encouragement and answer to your prayer.

Anonymous said...

And isn't it great that the DSO Core Competencies - developed by a variety of agencies within and without a "faith" basis have identified self-control as a threshold competency in supporting people.

Have a great weekend.

Belinda said...

YES! Thank you for pointing that out. I love the Core Competencies and am excited to be part of their implementation.

Leslie said...

I don't know which "hit" me more, your post, Brenda or Anonymous' comment. I have railed at God that I am tired of being the "responsible" one! It is indeed an ongoing challenge but may we all rejoice in these precious scripture truths.