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Leading The Way - Week of June 24

Week of June 24

A Remote Control Attitude

A father asked his daughter, who spent too much time watching television, to begin memorizing Scripture. He chose the verses in Galatians concerning the fruit of the Spirit as a place for her to begin.

When she was sure she had reached her goal, she began to list the fruit of the Spirit to her Dad, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and remote control!”

When it comes to the subject of self-control, many of us would like to dodge the issue. Maybe we would like to think there is a way to put our minds, wills, and emotions under God’s “remote control.” Instead of having to take responsibility for our actions and decisions, we think it would be easier for God simply to control us.

However, God has a more creative plan in mind. He designed us with a limited free will. This means we have the ability to choose right over wrong and self-control over emotional response.

Paul warns:

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but  understand what the Lord’s will is. ... Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:15-20).

Don’t set your heart on having a “remote control” attitude. Dig deep into God’s Word. Learn what it means to be self-controlled. Pray that you always will reflect His love and self-control to others whose lives are spinning out of control.

Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control (2 Peter 1:5-6).

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Originally published October 13, 2008.