Beautiful! Like Esther... Beauty Ingredients: Self-Control
Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women's quarters to the king's palace...Now when the turn came for Esther... she requested nothing...
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Self-control is a daily dose of medicine Christ followers should swallow. Every sour swig of self-denial brings us closer to the perfect death: selflessness. The Apostle Paul said: 'I die daily' (1 Corinthians 15:31). John the Baptist said: 'He must increase, but I must decrease' (John 3:30).
Because Jesus said: 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it' (Matthew 16:24-25).
In godly irony, self-control brings self-fulfillment--with one big difference: our prosperity comes by Him, not us.
When Esther won the favor of her husband (the king), he said to her: 'What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you--up to half the kingdom!' (Esther 5:3). Her response? She requested nothing, but offered everything--including a banquet.
As a thankful grandmother of five small grandchildren, I am reminded: selfishness starts early. Left unchecked by parents, children can become spoiled. Spoiled children can become rotten adults--traveling the broad path like a herd of unruly backpackers. In their packs? Lots of Gimme's: gimme this and gimme that.
For the loudest, strongest and most clever, the Gimme's become Got me's: got me this and got me that.
When the Got me's get too much, they hire help to get them more. Because lust is never satisfied. Gimme's and Got me's think happiness can be bought. But it can't.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: 'Be content with such things as you have' (Hebrews 13:5). Self-control (a.k.a. self-denial and self-discipline) is essential for you. If you discipline your body by denying its unhealthy desires (including money, fame, power and possessions), you become light and fit for duty. You become ready to rise and shine--like Esther. Even more, like Jesus.
'Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us' (Hebrews 12:1).
Because beauty requests nothing.*
## Beautiful! Like Esther: Beauty Ingredients: Self-Control (Part 12)
* Previous Devotion, 'Beauty Requests Nothing': http://www.careylewisdevotions.com/beauty-requests-nothing
NOTE: Parts 5-31 of this series are republished edits of a 2014 series called, Beautiful Like Esther. In them you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful! Like Esther series.