Proverbs 25:28: “A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls.”
Walls are a hot-button political topic these days. But walls used to be incredibly important to the protection of a city. When a town didn’t have a wall or the wall was in disrepair, it was an easy target for the enemy. The enemy could infiltrate the city and poison it from within. Similarly, the Christ-follower needs walls to protect itself from the enemies of the world, the flesh, and the devil. One such barrier is self-control. Self-control is one of the believer’s wall of defense against sinful desires that wage war against his soul. It is probably best defined as the governing of one’s desires. DG Kehl described it as “the ability to avoid excesses, to stay within reasonable bounds.” Bethune called it “the healthful regulation of our desires and appetites, preventing their excess.” Both of these descriptions imply what we all know to be accurate: we tend to overindulge our various appetites and consequently need to restrain them. But self-control involves a much more comprehensive range of watchfulness than mere control of our bodily wants and desires. We must exercise self-control of thoughts, emotions, and speech. There is a form of self-control that says yes to what we should do and that which says no to what we shouldn’t do. How are you going to work with the Holy Spirit to exercise greater self-control?