Mission: Control

WE CAN ONLY BE SELF-CONTROLLED IF WE ARE TRULY GOD-CONTROLLED.

Bible Reading of the Day: Read Proverbs 16:32; Ephesians 5:15-17.

Verse of the Day: “Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you” (Ephesians 5:18).

Soo Lin walked with her grandmother through the mall. They paused at a soft-drink machine to allow Soo Lin to make a purchase. When she turned to join her grand­mother, she lost her grip on all but one of her shopping bags. Suddenly, the can of soda slipped out of her hands and rolled toward the machine.

Soo Lin stomped her foot and threw the remaining bag onto the floor. The sudden sound of breaking glass stopped her fit of temper.

“What was that?” she asked, her voice suddenly soft.

“I think it was the figurine we just bought,” Grandmother answered.

“Oh no!” Soo Lin cried as she inspected the bag. She soon discovered that her grandmother was right. The beautiful angel figurine was broken.

Soo Lin picked up the bags. “I’m sorry, Grandmother,” she said.

Grandmother stooped slowly to pick up Soo Lin’s can of soda.

“You let your temper get the best of you, didn’t you?” Grandmother said.

Soo Lin nodded as she took the can. “I’ve tried to control it like we’ve talked about, Grandmother, but then something like this happens.” She paused. “How do you control your temper?”

“I don’t,” Grandmother said with a smile. Soo Lin flashed her a confused look. Grandmother pointed to the soda can. “You’re not going to open that yet, are you?” Soo Lin shook her head. “Oh, no,” she said. “It would spray all over the place if I did.” “And what would come out?”

Soo Lin looked confused. She turned the can over in her hands and shrugged as if the answer were obvious. “It would spray cola all over the place.”

“Right. Because that’s what the can is filled with, right?” She waited for Soo Lin to nod, then continued. “It’s the same with self-control. I cannot make good things come out of my life. But since God’s Spirit fills me, he controls me—if I let him.”

“But I am a Christian, too,” Soo Lin said.

“Yes. So the way to control your temper is to let the Spirit, who fills you, control you, by submitting to him each day and asking him to make the most of every opportunity for doing good.”

“So self-control is really God-control,” Soo Lin said.

Grandmother studied Soo Lin thoughtfully. “I had not thought of that,” she said. “But you are right. We can only be self-controlled if we are truly God-controlled.”

TO DISCUSS: How can a person be “God-controlled”? Why is that necessary?

TO PRAY: “Lord, we desire to be ‘God-controlled’ in our actions and thoughts. Thank you for the Holy Spirit, who fills our lives with good things.”

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