Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
Something was eating my flowers. The day before, blooms proudly lifted their heads. Now they were headless stems. I prowled the perimeter of my yard and discovered a rabbit-sized hole in my wooden fence. Bunnies are cute, but the pesky animals can mow down a garden of flowers in minutes.
I wonder, might there be “intruders” shearing off the blooms of God’s character in my life? Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” In ancient days, the wall of the city protected it against invasion from enemies. Even a small opening in a wall meant that the entire city lay open to attack.
So many of the proverbs are about self-control. “If you find honey, eat just enough,” wrote the wise man (25:16). Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit that guards us, protecting us from losing ground to impatience, bitterness, greed, and other pests that can intrude and destroy God’s harvest in our lives (see Galatians 5:22–23). Self-control is a healthy-mindedness that watches for the holes in the walls of our lives and keeps them patched.
When I inspect the perimeter of my life, I can at times see vulnerable holes. A spot where I give in to temptation over and over. An area of impatience. Oh, how I need the healthy-minded self-control of God in my life to guard me from such intruders!
What holes do you see in the wall of your heart? How might God’s fruit of self-control help guard your life from such an intruder?
Dear God, please grow the fruit of self-control in my life that I might be protected from intruders.
For further study, read Words Matter.
In the Bible, what’s the difference between a proverb and a promise? A promise is a statement that’s true all the time. In contrast, the proverbs found in the book of Proverbs are sayings that are generally true and are derived from observing life. Proverbs contain wisdom obtained from living among broken and sinful people, whereas a promise comes from an eternal and unchanging God. We can depend on God to fulfill His promises, while proverbs can be true depending on how people respond to a situation.