Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
I had a nice chuckle yesterday at work when I wrote myself a note that I needed to buy bread, milk and eggs on the way home. Look at me, I thought, I'm a grown-up! (Now, I'm 30--I think I attained adult status a while ago). But I've never only wanted those three staples before. It's usually like milk, Doritos and Pepsi.
This morning when I thought about what type of verse to look up, my post-it came to mind, and I thought about what it actually means to be "grown-up." And I think that the biggest part of being grown-up (and not just "old") is having self-control. There are a lot of other things involved in growing up, and perhaps this applies most to me, but when I think about all the things I'm doing right--and all the things I'm doing poorly--I can usually weave self-control (or the lack of it) into the mix.
For example, this getting up early every morning and writing a blog post thing. That takes self-control to not just reset the alarm clock and go back to bed for another 90 minutes. Paying my bills on time: Self-Control to not spend the money I have until after I take care of my obligations.
And if you think about it, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Check it out:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
I think self-control gets a bad rap. You know, it's just tacked on at the end. No one wants the gift of self-control, right? They all want joy and peace. I mean come on, who doesn't want joy and peace right about now?
But today I'm praying that God will help me to develop self-control as I go through my day. Because that's a fruit of the Spirit too. And you know what they say about things in lists, right: Last, but not least.
Lord, may I have self-control today, and for the rest of my life. Amen.