Self Control

The following is a repost from my personal blog.  I thought it also appropriate here.  I wrote it originally on 9-23-07.



I just wanted to put down in writing some thoughts on self-control that have been on my mind.
Proverbs 25: 28 tells us this:

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

now when I read this just reading it and not taking the time to really understand it this is what I get out of it:

having no self-control is bad.

but is that enough? To just read it and glean that info, or is there really more to that verse than what is on the surface.

Let’s take a closer look shall we.

When you get to looking at this verse, you realize that this is an A=B statement. That means that there is a phrase in this verse that can be replaced with the = sign. so then the verse reads like this.

He that hath no rule over his own spirit = a city that is broken down, and without walls.

The first statement, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit…” is the A statement which is equal to/same as the B statement, “… a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Now that is all well and good, but it doesn’t really help me to understand this verse any better…or does it?

It begs the question, how? How is the A statement like the B statement? What is it about a city that is broken down and without walls that is the same as a man without self-control? I don’t get it!

So I begin to ask myself a few questions:

1: what is a city that is broken down like? (desolate)
2: what is a city that is without walls like? (defenseless)

Ahh, now that begins to shine a little light on things for me!

So from that I can glean that a man without self-control is desolate and defenseless. But I see the light only for a brief moment before confusion once again sets in. How is a man without self-control desolate and defenseless?

So I spend some more time thinking about this, and I think about the people I work with, and I see around all the time. I work in the public and I work with a lot of people and I talk with a lot of people and I began to see a pattern emerge.

People who lack self-control are often desolate because they lack the motivation to do what must be done.

How often do we see people complain about not having when the truth is that they don’t have because they didn’t have the motivation to make it happen? There were things that they needed to do that they didn’t do and now they do without. You are either without the “doing” or you are doing without.

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. Prov. 13:4
The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. Prov. 20:4

Always wanting a handout, believing they are entitled to the rewards of others hard work. Their state of affairs is the fault of someone else, never their own. This is the belief of the man who lacks self-control, and thus he is desolate, having nothing.

Scripture proves true, how interesting.

As I look deeper into human nature, I see yet another truth. People who lack self-control are defenseless because they lack the restraint that prevents them from geting into trouble.

In one of the Karate Kid movies, Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel “…Best block not to be there…” Here is where the self-control enters into our defenses. Often we find ourselves in situations that we could have avoided if we had only restrained ourselves. Maybe we went to someplace we wanted to go, when we ought not to have been there in the first place. But we wanted to go so we did. Or maybe we said something that we shouldn’t have said. How many times have we heard others say, “I couldn’t help it”. How many times have we heard ourselves say that? How many times did we speak without thinking first?

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About Shifu Read

Primary instructor,
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One Response to Self Control

  1. Tony Franklin says:

    Agreed! You see it everywhere. How many times have I heard someone say they wish they could do martial arts like me. Yet they will not do even one push-up! They are literally defenseless! Proverbs is full of pearls of wisdom that make you dig a little for the treasure.

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