Week 38 Thursday

A Little Self-Control

Today’s scripture selection: Proverbs 25

Key verse: Proverbs 25:28

Among the wise sayings of a very wise king we find these words:

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

Kings know all about the danger of having a city whose walls are broken through and vulnerable.  What many have not understood, however, is the equally dangerous situation of having no self-control.  Solomon apparently knew otherwise.

It’s wise counsel for all of us – kings or not.

We live in a culture where self-expression and self-indulgence seem to be of paramount importance and value.  And there have certainly been many cultures, of many types, who have suffered from similar issues.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the name of the game is to get more; do more; scratch every itch that comes along.  I think of that old bumper-sticker that cynically boasts “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

Wins what?

But for those who are wise enough to know that sometimes “enough is enough” – there are greater joys.

Just ask the lottery winners who claim that their lives were ruined by suddenly having more money than they could ever spend.

Just ask the talented musicians, artists, or actors who made it to the top only to be brought down by drug or alcohol addiction.

Just ask the victims of pornography.

Just ask the man or woman who climbs on any and every back to get to that coveted “corner office” only to find they have no friends and a thousand enemies.

Self-indulgence can be deadly.  And a little self-control can be life-saving.

Just ask Solomon – the wisest king that ever lived.

Prayer: Lord, may my desires be tempered by what is reasonable and best – not just for me – but for others as well.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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