Proverbs 25 … Consider His Gift of Self-Control

Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit,

In Biblical times, walls were built around cities to fortify and protect against the enemy (remember Jericho), keeping the enemy out as well as providing a range of vision to watch for any approaching danger.

But when walls were broken and in disrepair, the city became vulnerable and open to attack. And this is exactly what happens to us when we are without self-control… we are utterly vulnerable and open to the attack of the enemies of our soul: demonic forces and our flesh.

The book of Proverbs is a book of comparisons and contrasts, addressing the righteous and wicked, the wise and foolish. And much has to do with the tongue (our words), because after all, we speak that which is in our heart. And even fools will appear wise when they follow the precepts provided in Proverbs.

He who restrains his words has knowledge,
And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise;
When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent,
(Proverbs 17:27-28).

Self-control: a prescription for protection and safety that will guard our lives and our relationships. But if we were actually capable of managing ourselves, and if this world was filled with people who were able to practice self-control, wouldn’t we find ourselves living in a constant state of utopia; a kind of Disney World…the happiest place on earth? But Disney is filled with fantasies; seemingly much like the possibility of controlling our own spirits. We need help! We are desperate for His Gift of Self-Control.

Consider His Gift of Self-Control

In Jesus Christ, we are born again as new creations and given His Holy Spirit Who will imparts to us His Gift of Self Control.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law, (Galatians 5:22-23).

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control, (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV).

His Gift of Self-Control will guard our lives, conform us to the image of His Son, and glorify Him as an honorable vessel prepared for good work.

“The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart, (2 Timothy 2:19-22).

  • His Gift of Self-Control prepares us as His vessel
    • Take away the dross from the silver,
      And there comes out a vessel for the smith;
  • His Gift of Self-Control builds us in humility and contentment
    •  Do not claim honor in the presence of the king,
      And do not stand in the place of great men…
      27 It is not good to eat much honey,
      Nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory,
      (25:6, 27).
  • His Gift of Self-Control lays down our need to be right
    • Do not go out hastily to argue your case;
      Otherwise, what will you do in the end,
      When your neighbor humiliates you?
  • His Gift of Self-Control renders us trustworthy
    • Argue your case with your neighbor,
      And do not reveal the secret of another,
  • His Gift of Self-Control guides us in providing wise counsel and reproof
    • Like apples of gold in settings of silver
      Is a word spoken in right circumstances.
      12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
      Is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
  • His Gift of Self-Control enables us to faithfully refresh souls
    • Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
      Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
      For he refreshes the soul of his masters.
  • His Gift of Self-Control softens our tongue to answer gently
    • By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded,
      And a soft tongue breaks the bone.
  • His Gift of Self-Control marks us as dependable
    • Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot
      Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.
  • His Gift of Self-Control grows us in selfless generosity
    •  If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
      And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
      22 For you will heap burning coals on his head,
      And the Lord will reward you.
  • His Gift of Self-Control strengthens us in our commitment to righteousness
    • Like a trampled spring and a polluted well
      Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

How do we respond to His Gift of Self-Control?

A gift must be opened to be received. And we must desire to put into practice what He has given.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable, (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

His Gift of Self-Control is a spiritual gift from our generous God, Who is faithfully working in us to conform us to His Son’s image, to become His vessel; a vessel that is humble and content, that lays down the need to be right, is trustworthy, provides wise counsel and reproof, faithfully refreshes souls, answers gently, is dependable, is selflessly generous, and is committed to righteousness. That certainly describes Jesus; not us.

…for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15, 25).

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ! He frees us from the body of death to impart His Gift of Life and His Gift of Self-Control. God has promised, as our Master Builder, to continue His work in us until the day of Christ Jesus when His work will be perfected.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus, (Philippians 1:6).

Let’s choose to run this race of life, walking in His Gift of Self-Control, that we would desire to become more like Jesus. It is His work in us; our part is to cooperate with Him in faith and holy reverence; He will always faithfully do His.

work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:13).

Let us depend on His grace as we learn from His teaching, that we would open His Gift of Self-Control to say, “No” to worldly passions and “Yes”  to His Holy Spirit as long as we live in this present age.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope–the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, (Titus 2:11-13).

The day is coming when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will gloriously appear to take us to be with Him forever. Until that day, let us intentionally commit to glorify Him as an honorable vessel, that we would walk in His wisdom and discipline and give our attention to seeking Him in prayer as we daily submit to His Gift of Self-Control.

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer, (1 Peter 4:7).

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply