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Oilfield Workers Sharing Christ Around the World


Photo by Nik on

By Mike Chaffin

They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 1 Peter 4:4

          Temperance and its synonyms, abstinence, and self-control is the greatest of the four cardinal virtues. We exhibit it readily when in right relationship with Christ.

          In the early church there was much debate on whether gentiles who were uncircumcised must be circumcised after accepting Christ, and must also follow the ritual and ceremonial Law written in the Torah. The apostles said once a person has accepted Christ as Savior, those things are no longer required, but wrote,

          that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. Acts 15:29

          Paul added that we,

          Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22

          Peter explained why this is important.

          But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9

          Here Peter points out that once we have faith, we are to exhibit virtues and knowledge. The first virtue listed is self-control, by which all other virtues are entwined and grow in us.

          The Biblical definition of temperance is “Emotional restraint or self-control.” I recently completed a diet program in which I lost twenty-six pounds, 12.5% of my body weight. The program didn’t require cutting out any type of food, didn’t require counting calories or taking any drugs. It was a weekly program of 3 – 5 very short videos encouraging me to lose weight and showing me what my eating weaknesses were and how to use self-control to overcome those weaknesses. Gluttony is overindulgence to the point of disregarding self-control. However, once we know Jesus has given us the power to overcome bad habits, addictions and all other forms of evil we no longer have to fear failure, we can live in victory, just like the old gospel hymn, ‘Victory in Jesus’. As Paul told his mentee, Timothy,

          for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

          Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the victory you gave us at the cross. We only need to remember this, to put it into practice and live a victorious life over gluttony, immorality, addiction, and everything else straining to tear me away from a glorious relationship with you. I must remember I can do all things through You who gives me strength. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 Note: The link to the song, Victory in Jesus is a wonderful version sung by Carrie Underwood. Click the song title and enjoy. Even better if you sing along.

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