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Self-Control and Exposure to Danger

Proverbs 25:28 (ESV) – A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

People without self-control are dangerous. They are dangerous to themselves because their choices position them for potential harm. Just think about the person that loses their cool in a parking lot because someone pulled into the space they wanted to park in. The person who can’t control their tongue or hand gestures may end up in an altercation. But these people are dangers to others also. People with them are at risk because of their inability to control their behaviors and reactions.

The Scriptures actually teach on this reality. This is another reminder of how relevant the Bible is to our everyday lives. The proverb we are looking at today speaks about the individual who lacks self-control. We read, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”

The proverb compares a man without self-control to a city that’s been breached and left without walls. This kind of city is vulnerable to attack. It lacks defenses to protect it. This vulnerability can lead to its destruction. How is a man without self-control like this? Because his inability to control his temper, reactions, and words makes him a risk. Rather than acting with wisdom, he reacts. These reactions can lead him to destructive outcomes that the person with self-control doesn’t experience. 

The person with self-control can see past the initial surge of emotions. A person with self-control watches their tongue. They can experience injustice or hardship and not lash out with raw emotion. They possess the ability to reason in the heat of the moment. There is a stark difference between the person who possesses self-control and the one who lacks it. Self-control helps us say no to extra helpings of food or pounding our alarm clock until we’re late for work. The person who lacks self-control enjoys the sensation extra sleep gives them, but loses their job or opportunities for advancement. They are a city without walls, vulnerable to destruction.

Do you recognize self-control in your life? It is imperative that we make this a spiritual issue. The Holy Spirit in us provides strength and help to overcome fleshly impulses. We need to know the right thing, which comes through reading the Word, and then we need the Spirit’s help to do the right thing. This provides us with what we need to walk with self-control.

"Self-control is a spiritual issue.
We need to be in the Word
and seeking the help
of the Holy Spirit to do the right thing
and not give into fleshly impulses."

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Reflection & Journal:
- Why is self-control compared to a city without walls?
- What is self-control?
- How do we cultivate self-control in our lives? Why is it important?

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