Danger areas of life
"The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." (v.4)
What are some of the areas of life in which we need to have self-control? Let me select what I consider to be the three most important. The first is the area of sex. Controlled sex is creative; uncontrolled sex is chaotic. I need hardly say that sex outside of marriage is clearly forbidden by Scripture and those who engage in it will find it leads not to fulfilment but to disintegration of the personality. That disintegration may not come right away, but given time -- come it will.
Within the marriage relationship also there is need for self-control. If one's partner becomes the means of self-gratification, instead of a person to be loved and respected, then again, disintegration sets in. You cannot use another without abusing yourself. Your attitudes toward another become your attitudes toward yourself. If you use another for sex purposes, then sex uses you. Sex is a dedication or it is a desecration, and when it becomes desecration, it becomes degradation. Another area of life in which we need the self-control which the Spirit provides is that of the tongue. James points out that the tongue is an important indicator of how well we control ourselves (James 3:2). There are three stages, we are told, in verbal communication -- impulse, consideration, speech. Many omit the second and jump from impulse to speech. The person who has self-control pauses between impulse and speech and gives himself to consideration. The Holy Spirit -- if we let Him -- comes to our aid to help us be sure that what we say is what we want to say.
O God, help me to be a disciplined person in thought, word and deed -- especially in thought. And help me to hold my tongue when I should and speak when I should. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What makes religion worthless?
2. How is wisdom revealed through us?