Who is incontrol?
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
My dearest girls!
This week we have focused on the vice of gluttony and it’s accompanying virtue: temperance.
Temperance impacts every moment of our days as anything can become misused – cell phone use, money, relaxing, food, sexual desires, work, leadership positions.
We are meant to enjoy good things, but when we misuse things we stray from their purpose and fall under their control, which may be pointing to a deeper heart issue.
Our hearts naturally desire what is good and what is love, God wouldn’t have created us any other way. Sometimes our actions bring us the exact opposite. We may even know that certain choices will bring us harm but here we are again in the same sin of gluttony.
Take a look at this quote to summarize what we end up going through:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:15-20)
The virtue of temperance is not an easy virtue to develop as we often try to do it on our own. We need God’s grace and our action to work together to help us find balance in our lives, to use things are God created them to be used, to enjoy but not to overindulge, to allow things to serve their intended purpose.
Of course, certain things require complete abstinence as they bring us harm in even the smallest doses so “along with temperance we exercise caution and wisdom”(1). For instance, unforgiveness is never beneficial and does not serve anyone except for the evil one. Even ‘just a little bit’ of unforgiveness eats away at our souls and separates us from Christ.
I came across a blog post that had some wonderful practical tips that we can use to help strengthen the presence of temperance in our hearts (2). The authors shared that self-denial is necessary for temperance to develop, as is prayer. They suggested that we learn to say no to ourselves whether it’s by ordering one scoop less of ice cream or not ordering ice cream at all this time around.
Step by step as we get out of our comfort zone and continuously ask for His help, we can develop the virtue of temperance and learn to “enjoy less more”.
As Sandra shared yesterday, this will allow us “to be truly free”.
As women doing our best to follow Christ, His work is limited if we live a life of over-indulgence as “it is impossible to live godly lives and please the Lord without self-control because our flesh wants only to please itself (Romans 7:21–25)”. May we choose what is good over what is easy (2). May we make our lives less about us and more about Him.
Praying with and for you,