I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
'The tempter' (Matthew 4:3) hates temperance, which is moderation and self-restraint.* He loves their opposite: excess and lawlessness. He tempts us to love them, too, because self-indulgence leads to a fall. It started when Eve took the bait.
But today, 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2) has a new means of persuasion. It's a 21st century explosion called media. Bad ideas and worse examples flood our senses and steal our attention. By them, self-control is reduced to a spin at the gym.
Rather than being washed by His water, we've been brainwashed by sensory overload. Like dolls or slaves, we obeyed our media masters. We put on chains, built up possessions and took off clothes.
Their hype brought a double whammy: we became both predators and prey. Pants got so skinny they turned into tights. Underwear became outerwear. Shorts became legless. Tops became bottomless. Dresses became slips. Girls became objects, boys became orphans, women became single and men became silent.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: 'For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control' (2 Peter 1:5-6). Because 'Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things' (1 Corinthians 9:25).
Right now, you compete for recognition in the entertainment industry. The prize is the role for which you were born. It's the fan to whom you are sent. It's the truth of what men must hear. It's the time when heroes rise. It's the place where good gets bold. It's the reason why you must shine.
But soon, the prize will be His Smile at your show's conclusion, when you hear: 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord' (Matthew 25:21).
So consider self-control as a necessary practice for earthly and heavenly rewards: 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me' (Matthew 16:24).
If you're wondering where to find self-control, look up to the highest Power: 'For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline
' (2 Timothy 1:7). Reach up high to the highest Branch: 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
' (Galatians 5:22-23).
Practice it and prosper.
To Be Continued...
* American Heritage Dictionary
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.