GOD VALUES SELF-CONTROL BECAUSE HE EXERCISES SELF-CONTROL
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Ezekiel 20:13-17.
Verse of the Day: “The Lord is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion” (Numbers 14:18).
Dad picked up Veronica at school and held her hand as they crossed the street together. They started walking the three blocks to their house.
“I talked to your teacher today,” Dad said.
“You did?” Veronica’s eyes widened.
Dad nodded. “She told me you did something very good on the playground today.”
“She did?” Veronica asked.
Dad smiled. They crossed another street. Neither said anything until they reached the opposite curb.
“It wasn’t my fault, Daddy,” she said. “Wesley pushed me down.” She stopped and twisted her hand out of her father’s grip. She held up both hands; her palms were badly skinned.
“I know that,” Dad said. “But your teacher also told me what you did when you got up.”
“He made me mad, Daddy.”
Dad smiled and squeezed Veronica’s hand in his again. They kept walking. “I’m sure he did. But your teacher said you didn’t hit him or push him back.” Veronica shook her head. “I wanted to,” she said.
“But you didn’t. That’s what’s important, Ronnie,” he said, using his pet name for his daughter. “You controlled your anger. I think that’s really great.” “You do?”
Dad nodded. “And you know who else thinks it’s great?” They crossed another street. “God thinks it’s great, Ronnie, because when you decided to control your temper, you acted like God.”
“I did?” Veronica asked. A tiny smile crept across her face. “A long time ago, after God led his people out of Egypt and gave them the Ten Commandments, they disobeyed him and treated him even worse than Wesley treated you today. But God didn’t destroy them, even though he was angry. He controlled his anger-just like you controlled your anger today.”
“Neat,” Veronica said, skipping lightly for a moment. “I think so too,” Dad said, skipping with her.
TO DISCUSS: What makes self-control right? Why does God value self-control? Can you think of any other instances in which God exercised self-control? Do you think he sometimes exercises self-control with you? Why or why not?
TO PRAY: Have a time of silent prayer to give everyone the opportunity of talking privately with God about areas where he or she lacks self-control. Then let someone close in prayer aloud.