Believe: Self-Control

“The grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.  It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”  Titus 2:11-12

There’s a conversation I had with renowned pollster George Gallup, Jr. that I would never forget.  We were working on the assessment tool built around the thirty key ideas found in this devotional.  We were discussing the virtue of self-control, and apparently I was pontificating on how Christians just needed to pull themselves up by their spiritual bootstraps and stop doing things they shouldn’t be doing.  George interrupted me and said, “You’re not an alcoholic, are you?” I answered no.

Then he said, “Well, I am, and so was my father.  When I took my first drink, it affected me differently than most people.  I couldn’t stop.  Even as a Christian, I tried and tried, and I couldn’t lick it.  Then one day I heard Jesus whisper, ‘George, if you never figure this out, it is okay.  I already died for this.’ And I haven’t taken a drink in thirty years.”

It was because of this conversation that we added the words “through Christ” to the key idea below.  The law of “have to” only makes us want to do the things we shouldn’t do more.  But grace, when embraced in our soul, gives us the power to say no to those things that harm us and others.

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Jesus offers you the same grace to overcome your greatest temptations.  Hear him whisper this offer to your soul.

I have the power through Christ to control myself.

— from The 31 Day Believe Devotional by Randy and Rozanne Frazee

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