Bible Reading: 1 Peter 4:7-11
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 1 Peter 4:7, NIV
ONE OF THE most famous advertising slogans of all time was a phrase invented for Lay’s Potato Chips: “Bet you can’t eat just one!” Six short words. Each word just one syllable.
The idea, of course, was that Lay’s Potato Chips were so delicious, so crunchy, so addicting, that once you ate one, you’d have to eat another … and another… and another. It was a whole ad campaign about self-control.
But there are people in this world who can eat just one. There are people who have enough self-control to resist a second Lay’s Potato Chip, no matter how tasty it is. Not only that, there are people in this world who have enough self-control to resist even greater temptations. There are people who show self-control in the way they eat, the way they exercise, the way they study, speak, or work. Maybe you even know some of those people. Chances are, if you know them, you also admire them.
You know what else? God feels the same way. God admires self-control. He values it. He thinks self-control is pretty cool.
As a matter of fact, that’s why God commands self-control. His Word doesn’t say, “Be clear minded and self-controlled” because he had a report due for school and had to think of something to write. He doesn’t command us to control our anger, our appetites, desires, and fears just because he likes the sound of his own voice. No, he commands those things because he values self-control. And if God values self-control, shouldn’t we?
REFLECT: Do you admire anyone for his or her self-control? If so, whom? Do you think self-control is a good thing? If not, why not? If so, why? Do you need to develop self-control in any area of your life? If so, what areas? How can you practice self-control in those areas? Have you asked God for help? If not, why not? If so, do you trust him to help you?
ACT: Share a small bag of Lay’s Potato Chips with a friend or family member, and ask that person to pray for and encourage you in your efforts to develop self-control.
PRAY: “Lord, I do want to be clear minded and self-controlled, especially in the area of____________ [my thought life, my appetites, my desires, etc.]. Please help me to rely every day on the strength you provide.”