Self-control in the Garden
Today’s lesson takes a look at an important topic, that of self-control. Self control is not a commonly used word in the Bible, however, the concept of self-control is found so often in the Bible, that is hard to miss. In fact, one would have to try very hard to miss one main message of Scripture: control thyself! In fact, one doesn’t have to go very far to see self-control, or the lack of it, at work in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve present a good study on how their lack of self-control could star in the book of life’s chapter entitiled “what not to do”.
The tree that Eve ate from was a good looking tree, to be sure, and it was good for food as well. But so were all the other trees in the garden (Gen 2:9) so why that particular tree and what was her motive? I think it was, in part, the attention that she paid to it. If she had treated it like any other tree, as she had been doing, there should have been no problem. The other part, was that Satan caused to be discontent with what she had. It wasn’t enough to have God providing everything for her that she needed, now she wanted to be like God.
Such knowledge was not necessary for her to do her job and fulfill her role. And there are lots of things that we do not need to “know” in order to do our job for God. Knowing Drugs or pre-marital sex, or how to win through deceit is not a knowledge we need to have and the damage can be substantial. Because of our lack of self-control sin creates problems not just for us but for others.
Developing self-control is an important thing to do. It is easier as children to learn to be disciplined but even as adults there are lessons that we should learn to help us control our lives. Admitting that we have a need for control in this or that area will help. As the old saying goes ‘admitting that you have a problem is half the battle.’ A second way to help avoid sin (the failure to control ourselves) is to do as David did. “your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you” (psalm 119:11) and third, we can prayer for strength as Jesus counseled the disciples to do “pray that you enter not into temptation” Luke 22:40