- Gun violence
- Marital infidelity
- Pre-marital sexuality
- Homosexual relationships
- Assaults on law officers
- Police brutality
- Government waste
- Looting, rioting
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Elderly abuse
- Alcohol and drug addiction
These are the stories and headlines I read, heard, or saw this week (and it is only Tuesday). This is enough to depress even the most optimistic of people. Simply put, society is corrupt. People, we are selfish.
Paul describes the culture of Roman society in the first century and in his description, I cannot help but see Western society today.
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:21-32)
What ever happened to SELF-CONTROL. Did Jesus not teach His followers to deny themselves? Did Paul not tell the Philippians, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4). Do we not see an example in Jesus as he prays to the Father, “nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42)?
Self-control starts with you and me. We practice it, we teach it to our children and grandchildren. Those upon whom we have influence see the peace, happiness, and blessings that self-control brings in our live and they learn to practice the same.
“Dear Father, help me to deny myself and live for your and to be a blessing in the lives of others. Help me to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. In Jesus’ name.”