Spiritual Growth – Part Three

“….Grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” II Peter 3:8

        “….add to your knowledge….”

Self control requires holding yourself to an established standard, the Word.

A better understanding and practice of self-control  and a little heart examination will help prevent the pain caused by our lack of self-control. Exercise of it creates harmony and avoids discord, creates better relationships, prevents misunderstandings, nourishes one’s spiritual life, and makes possible endurance. 

Examples of a lack of self-control begin with our oldest ancestors Adam and Eve. Like them we lose a lot when we fail to exercise it.

Moses showed a lack of self-control in striking the rock in frustration as the children of Israel murmured and complained.  His lack of self-control cost him the blessing of entering the promised land.

Sometimes self-control is more about patiently waiting on the Lord to deliver us from a bad situation or to answer our prayers.

Self-control prevents us from throwing in the towel when a bit more effort might gain the objective.

Solomon illustrated how valuable self-control is. “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19, 20) 

Perseverance involves faithfulness, endurance, and dedication.  

Author Irving Stone has spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, and a number of others. Of a common characteristic of those who succeeded he wrote: “They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified and for years they get nowhere. But every time they’re knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they’ve accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do.”

Can we not exercise such perseverance in the work of the Lord? 

The late president Calvin Coolidge opined, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

Charles Spurgen observed “By perseverance the snail reached the Ark.”

Those who succeed know triumph is just “umph” added to try.

Postage stamps are getting more expensive, but at least they have one attribute that most of us could emulate: they stick to one thing until they get there.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”