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Family Faith:

Self-control is key to curbing sin

June 27, 2009|By Kimberlie Zakarian

I came across the following portion of scripture two times in the past week — in two different Bibles. It is about living our lives in the spirit, where we can find the most contentment and joy. I know that there are often reasons we have certain portions of Scripture cross our paths. It spoke to my heart and I pray it speaks to yours as you read today.

“.?.?. live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.” (Galatians 5:16-21a)

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These actions, thoughts and behaviors are sin. They lead to a life that is emotionally and spiritually unhealthy. God did not forbid us to live this way to be a killjoy, but rather to protect us from the natural consequences such behaviors produce. They hurt us on the inside, affect our personal lives, and can affect those around us.

Just think of the recipients on the other end of sexual immorality, hatred, jealousy, rage and drunkenness, to name of few of these sins.

I am sure each of us has a story that comes to mind.

By contrast, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5: 22-23a). These virtues have the potential to produce positive consequences in our lives, and bring us and those around us peace.

This portion of scripture held meaning for me because of the portion on self-control. I know that when I exercise self-control, my life is more stable, happier and peaceful. When we exercise self-control in our lives, we can prevent a tremendous amount of negative feelings and can also institute a lot of good consequences into our lives.

If I use self-control in what I eat, I feel better, and I am healthier.

A natural result of that is that I keep a few pounds off that can make me feel sluggish. If I practice self-control with my speech, I am a gentler and wiser family member. If I exercise self-control in my spending, I stay within my budget. When I institute self-control into my personal life, things just flow smoother.

This does not mean that I do not run into inconveniences in my life — things beyond my control. But self-control in most areas of my life makes even these bumps in the road not quite as bumpy, so to speak.

As you analyze any potential patterns of behavior that are negative, or truthfully put a sin, are you able to recognize the negative consequences they produce? When you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your actions, do you experience a greater measure of peace and fruit in your life? The answer should be “yes” to both of these questions.

Let us make our personal lives and the lives of those around run smoother by wise actions and self-control. It is amazing how much better our daily lives can go.


?The Rev. KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN’S column runs every Saturday. Reach her by e-mail at holyhouse9@ gmail.com or by mail at Holy House Ministries c/o the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, M.S. La Vie Counseling Center, 650 Sierra Madre Villa, Suite 110, Pasadena, CA 91107

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