Tag: Temperance

Controlled by the Holy Spirit

A.B. Simpsonby A.B. Simpson

He that ruleth his spirit [is better] than he that taketh a city —Proverbs 16:32

Temperance is true self-government. It involves the grace of self-denial and the spirit of a sound mind. It is that poise of spirit that holds us quiet, self-possessed, composed, deliberate and subject to the voice of God and the conviction of duty in every step we take. Many persons do not have that poise and serenity. They are drifting at the impulse of their own impressions and moods, the influence of others or the circumstances around them.

No desire should ever control us. No purpose, however right, should have such mastery over us that we are not perfectly free. Our pure affection may be an inordinate affection. Our work itself may be a selfish passion. That thing that we began to do because it was God’s will we may cling to and persist in, ultimately, because it is our own will.

Lord, give us a spirit ever controlled by Thy Spirit and will and the eye that looks to Thee every moment as the eyes of a maiden to the hands of her mistress (Psalm 123:2). So shall Thy service be our perfect freedom, and our subjection divinest liberty.

by A.B. Simpson

 

Achieving Self-Control

A.W. Tozer Imageby A.W. Tozer

Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. Titus 1:8

For this reason the beautiful word temperance occurs strategically in the theology of the New Testament. Temperance is the helmsman in easy control of the powerful ship as it ploughs through the sea with all parts working in harmony. Temperance is that in the Christian man’s life which brings every faculty into harmony with every other, and the total personality into accord with God’s plan for the whole man. In a life so directed there can be no place for excess.

Two things need to be added. One is that temperance is not automatic. It is listed among the fruit of the Spirit, but it requires prayer, Bible reading, cross-bearing, hard discipline, obedience and self-denial before it can become a fixed part of the Christian’s character.

The second is that a man or woman in Christ who has achieved true self-control may expect to be very much out of step with the world. Human beings given to excess will not take kindly to the Spirit-filled, temperate soul living among them. After he is dead they may build his sepulchre or name a college after him, but that will be a bit late for his comfort. He had a tough time of it while he lived.

by A.W. Tozer