Like a city breached, without walls,
is one who lacks self-control.
~Proverbs 25:28, NRSV
A person who lacks self-control is defenseless.
You know how much I love the Psalms and Keller’s devotional on Proverbs is increasing my appreciation for the Proverbs. There is much more wisdom in the Proverbs than I had imagined. There are so many things that were common in the ancient world that we do not relate to at all and city walls is a good example. Can you imagine a wall around Hartselle? When I visited Nigeria in the middle 80’s, all the wealthy people [not many] had walls around their estates, high walls with barbed wire and broken glass cemented into the top of the wall. Without these walls, the thieves would have taken everything they owned. In ancient times, cities had to have walls for their own protection; otherwise, thieves and vandals would take everything they had including their lives.
Ezekiel spoke of a breach in Judah’s wall, it was there unrighteousness. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people.” But what about you and I individually; what protects us from those things that would destroy us? According to Solomon, Self-control is one. Have you ever noticed, it is the very last fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Maybe is is last for a reason. Perhaps it is not just Bailey’s that struggle with self-control. It is true, a person who lacks self-control is defenseless.
If you don’t control your appetite, you may become unhealthy and Bailey’s have a tendency toward diabetes. If you don’t control your temper; you say and do things that later you regret. If you don’t control your tongue, you ignite a lot of fires that do a world of damage. If you don’t control your sexual desires, you destroy relationships right and left. If you don’t control your emotions, you act compulsively and impulsively which leads to regrettable acts and decisions. If you don’t control your greed, you reap destruction and a wasted life. People get hooked on drugs because they lack self-control. Illegal drugs are thieves and killers, that is why the medical profession outlawed them–they know what they will do to a human body and mind. Drugs will take your mind, your money, your talent, your friends, self-respect and eventually your physical life. Drugs are powerful overlords: they can take your spouse, your sons, daughters, siblings and you will not be able to stop them.
Where is the breach in your wall? Are you offended that I would ask? If so, get over it and check the wall. What about me? I am checking the wall, I am not comfortable with my level of self-control. I struggle with my diet, my tongue, my temptation to look more than once and my temper. My road rage is better, thanks to your prayers and the horrible wreck that took Darlene’s family but I am not cured by a long stretch. So if you have it all together and just want to pray for sinners like me, be my guest.
Its too wet to plow at 1120; sun just popped out but that came after an hour of rain. I have one praise: thanks to Troy, I completed a project this week–that is a big deal for a 70 year old. Just got a call–have to run.
Day 37 of the Covid-19 shut-down!