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The Value Of Self-Control

By Don Loftis | 07.26.17

David Swagner recently wrote about a 14th Century duke named Raynald III, but was commonly called by his nickname Crassus, which meant “fat.”  In a family dispute Raynald’s brother, Edward,  revolted and imprisoned his overweight brother.   Rather than putting him in a cell or dungeon, he built a room around him that had windows and a slightly undersized door.  Raynald was told that as soon as he lost enough weight to fit through the door or window, he was free to leave.  However, Raynald never could control his eating habits and spent his life as a prisoner–truly a prisoner of his own appetite.


Our lives are often destroyed by our lack of self control as well.  Our anger may damage or destroy a relationship.  A poor diet may result in obesity or diabetes.  Poor work habits may cause us to drop out of school or lose a good job.  The inability to say “No” often leads to financial debt or moral indiscretions.  The ability to choose what is right and to carry out those decisions is a mark of both wisdom and maturity.


In the wise man’s collection of proverbs, we find these two gems.  “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32).  “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is the man who has no control over his spirit” (Prov. 25:28).


Freedom truly awaits the one who exercises self discipline throughout life’s journey.



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