Monday, February 4, 2013

The Temperance Test

I struggle in the area of temperance.  These days it has become the norm to excuse our tendency toward excess with a giggle and the stock phrase, "I'm addicted to..."  It might be coffee, or shoes, or rubber stamps; quilting fabric, cross stitch supplies, or our iPad.  Because we are "addicted" to it, it becomes a joke and we feel it's OK to indulge ourselves in this area.  But is it??

I Corinthians 9:24, 25

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

Temperance is defined as "a habitual moderation in the indulgence of the appetites or passions".

Habitual - something we resort to on a continual basis
Moderation - avoiding extremes, observing reasonable limits
Indulgence - excessive or unrestrained gratification of one's own appetites, desires, or whims

So, to be temperate means that we continually restrain ourselves - our appetites, desires - even whims! - and set reasonable limits.  If we are moderate we will avoid extremes, so it isn't an "all or nothing" mentality, but a conscious choice to limit ourselves.  What a blessing that will be to our pocketbooks when we limit our spending, to our homes when we limit the clutter, and to our bodies, when we limit the types and amounts of foods we  take in!  Isn't God wise???

It's hard to think Biblically sometimes, isn't it?  Especially when the prevailing thought of everyone around us - both Christian and non-Christian alike - seems to see things in another light.  But it is SO important to keep lining up our lives against Scripture to see if we are being a clear reflection of Christ.   I can definitely see some areas of my life in which the fruit of self-control should be more evident.  Can you?

Today's Happy Monday prompt...
When I think of February, I....

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