Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tis the Time for Self-Control

I'm amazed ... yet again! It seems just as I begin studying something, God decides to show me that concept over and over again in several different ways. Today's concept is self-control. Well, I first stumbled upon it in Atlanta as I was reading chapter 4 in Feminine Appeal, The Safety of Self-Control, where Mahaney unpacks the truths of Titus 2:3-5:
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
(The whole book focuses on these 3 verses, but this chapter specifically discusses self-control.)

When I typically think of self-control, I think of my actions and my speech, but rarely before now have I thought of my thoughts and emotions as areas where I need to have self-control. I commented about this in relation to Anna's post on Monday. Now, as this concept is beginning to settle and take root in my mind, I continue to stumble across it:
I'm guessing this is a concept that God really wants me to learn. Here are some key points that stood out about it in Feminine Appeal:

Mahaney says, "What we allow to govern our feelings and occupy our thinking will sooner or later determine our behavior. Sinful thoughts and sinful feelings lead to sinful behavior. Therefore, we dare not ignore these faculties, but must exercise self-control in them.

This is why we must heed 2 Corinthians 10:5 where Paul commands us to, "take every thought captive to obey Christ."

Mahaney also says, "We must understand that our feelings are not authoritative. Just because we feel something doesn't make it true. Our feelings are either ruled by truth or ruled by sin. Therefore, we need to discover what is ruling our feelings to determine if they are accurate or inaccurate -- righteous or sinful."

As women, I believe that this is an area where we struggle a lot. For most of us, we're very emotional beings and we can easily allow Satan to use our thoughts, feelings and emotions as a foothold to convince ourselves of things contrary to God. Darn it, estrogen! I believe this is why the idea of self-control is included in Titus 2:5 and as one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galations 5:23.These are the truths we need to cling to and realize in our lives so that sin won't take hold of us in this area.

1 comment:

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