Controlling One’s Spirit

Controlling One’s Spirit                                            November 28, 2021

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

I find it fascinating why some people desire to constantly control people.  They seem so compelled to do so.  And in so doing they convince themselves that they are so powerful and that others should look up to them because of their great strength and dominance.  Truth be told, they are actually very weak.  Why?  Because they lack the strength to control themselves.  In the scripture above it takes a lot of power to capture a city but even more power to control one’s spirit (the urge to do whatever one wants to do).

I also find it interesting that in controlling oneself from doing what most people would do in your situation the individual who refrains himself is made to feel very weak and to some degree ashamed.   According to Hebrews 12:2 Jesus despised the shame and remained focused on what God wanted Him to accomplish.  It would be difficult to match the strength and controlling spirit found in Jesus Christ.  The apostle Peter says this about Him, “and while being reviled, He did not revile in return, while suffering He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to God who judges righteously;” (I Peter 2:23).

In Psalms 103:8 David recognized this about God: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” Did you catch what David said?  God is slow to anger.  So when we’re slow to anger we are just like God.  Having a loving and kind spirit reigning in our hearts enables us to be more patient with others when they mistreat us or take advantage of us.  Most people wouldn’t be able to tolerate such mistreatment if they were in our situation.  There is power in being like God – not weakness and we need to remind ourselves of this truth when opposed by those who think themselves better than everyone else.

We also need to remember what Paul says in Romans 12:19-21.  We are never to take our own revenge.  Leave that to God.  He will deal with those who oppose His children.  In the meantime, don’t be overcome by evil, but rather, overcome evil with good.  Later in Ephesians 4:26-27 Paul says that it’s okay to be angry as long as we don’t allow that anger to cause us to sin.  If we are able to fix the situation in which someone makes us angry then we should do so as soon as possible.  Otherwise, we may allow the devil an opportunity to influence us to do evil rather than good.

Salvation is possible for every soul because Jesus, with God’s help, was able to control His spirit.  Just think what the outcome will be when you and I do the same.  May others come to recognize Jesus at work in us through our controlled spirit and experience salvation and hope in Him.

Brian Thompson

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