By Irvin Himmel
Many of us get worked up in our daily lives over things that are relatively inconsequential. If one is given to anxiety, the chances are that he worries over a lot of such things.
To some, social events are highly important. Others are much involved in sporting events. There are people who spend many years earning academic degrees. A business executive may set his goal on reaching the top rung of the corporate ladder. Others consume long hours and large sums of money on entertainment. Some are very fashion conscious. They like to keep up with the latest styles and newest customs. Some relish extensive travel. Then there are people who buy all the new electronic gadgets they can afford, and perhaps some which they really cannot afford.
Self-control is a relative matter. That is, there are varying degrees of temperance (self-control) just as there are with all of the “Christian graces” found in 2 Peter 1:5-10. None is perfect (without a flaw cannot grow any more) in temperance. Furthermore, we never will be. The key to being acceptable to God is to work on self-control with “all diligence” (2 Pet. 1:5).
There are some areas of life where this quality is more easily practiced than in others. Easy or not, we must grow in self-control.
The greatest battle you will ever fight is fought within yourself.
When we stand before the Lord in judgment, as all of us will, the things that loom before us now as having such absorbing interest will not matter at all. In that day it will not matter how many degrees a person has, nor what kind of house he lived in, nor whether he wore plain clothes or the latest fashions, whether he drove an old clunker or a shiny new auto, and whether he was underpaid or earned a top salary. And the team that he rooted for will have no more fascination.
The things that will really matter then are the things that ought to matter now. Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Cheerful obedience. Righteous living. Submission to divine authority. Love. Loyalty in worship and service to God. Eternal hope based on the grace of God.
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: No. 24, p. 13
December 21, 1995