Last week, in our first discussion for Did You Know, you read about The Crown of Life This week we’ll look at what the Bible says about The Crown Incorruptible. Earning this crown to present to Jesus involves self-control. I can hear it now, “we all have some sort of self-control problem.” What’s yours? Here is what Paul writes to the Corinthian church about an incorruptible crown.
Paul then suggests that we keep our body under control so that we can run with certainty. Here’s the downside, “lest…when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (I Corinthians 9:27b).”
Hebrews 12:1-2 admonishes us to set aside sin, and move forward, looking to Jesus who is our example. The Lord is our strength, and He clothes us with armor: the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet or salvation, and the sword of the Word (Ephesians 6:10-18). This defense helps us win the struggle against the “sin that so easily besets us (Hebrews 12:1).”
The best way to assure that our “self” is controlled, is to give ourselves wholly to God. The Spirit will lead and protect. Romans 12:1-2 admonishes us to be a living sacrifice, a person not conformed to this world and its sinful ways, but to allow the Holy Spirit to change the way we think, and act, always in a way that is pleasing to God.
As you think about self-control, ask yourself what areas in your life need attention; over eating comes to mind; then, there is gossiping. Others may have what we think of as more serious problems, but all are sin. Does your temptation impede your spiritual walk? If so, be specific, what needs to change? Pray and ask for help; praise God for the blessings you have already been given by our gracious Lord.
Next week’s “crown” is more joyous. After learning self-control, we’ll step out and share the joy of the Lord with others; that offers us The Crown of Rejoicing.