Good Morning Church! It’s time to learn a little Self Control!

When did we decide we can lose control because we ‘think’ we have been inconvenienced or not treated as fairly as we think we should be?

Seriously? I am asking because I see far too many people acting like spoiled children these days and it does not seem to be getting any better.

Case in point.

This past week my husband had a knee replaced.

I spent my day in the hospital waiting room.

Around noon the relative silence was broken by a family that arrived loudly and got louder as they nestled in for what was appearing to a day long vigil smack dab in the middle of the room.

The group consisted of 5 adults (one in a wheelchair apparently the patient) and a 3 year old child in a diaper and a long T-shirt that covered her to her knees.

As they got situated, there were several very loud phone conversations within the group. Concern was voiced many many times regarding delays on getting a room for the person being admitted.

The little girl began screaming the moment she realized she was being asked to sit quietly.

A request was made for a ‘clean’ blanket — not sure why they thought the hospital staff would offer them a dirty one. (The blanket request was originally denied but I noticed later blankets and pillows had been distributed to the group — I assume to avoid further conflict.)

But as the volume got louder and louder the rest of us silently consoled each other from across the room through subtle eye contact accompanied by occasional shakes of the head as we dug through our bags and pockets for earbuds.

The hospital staff did an amazing job keeping the situation under control but nothing could completely shelter the waiting room occupants from the day long saga of screaming, running, chasing and cussing.

The crescendo was taking place as I exited the waiting area to go to my husbands newly assigned room at about 7 PM.

As I searched for the appropriate elevator I passed the motley crew complaining to the housekeeping staff that someone had requested they clean up behind themselves.

They thought that was unreasonable because after all 3 year old children make messes and the f___ing mess someone had complained about wasn’t even theirs.

I slipped past the group and proceeded toward the elevator as alarms sounded all over the building announcing the tower was on lock down as security and fire determined if we needed to proceed to exits. The little star of this epic had tried to go into a restricted area as her adult supervision argued with housekeeping and had set off the alarms.

Self control!

Granted the story I just shared is an extreme illustration.

But I think we all need to reexamine what self control means to us.

In the past weeks I have written a lot about being nice — how we treat others — personal responsibility.

And at the core of it all is self control.

How we love — how we live — how we worship — all of it is dependent upon what we choose to do.

What we allow to control our lives.

And I believe it is at the heart of what makes us in the image of GOD.

The control over our own lives to choose or not to choose to follow HIM.

When Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia he cautioned them and scolded them for the way they were allowing the world to deceive and distract them from the life they were suppose to be living.

But probably the most famous exert from this passage was where Paul encouraged the Christians as he outlined what life would be like for those who lived life in THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.
The fruit of living a life led by the HOLY SPIRIT should be the only motivation anyone needs to give their lives over to GOD.

But just as Paul cautioned the early Christians — many will try to mislead us all — and if we aren’t careful our own self interest will pull us away from the true freedom waiting for those who completely and freely give their lives over to JESUS CHRIST.

There is a reason we all have people in our lives who seem to stay strong even in adversity.
They are the same self controlled people who never seem to lose their temper or speak maliciously of others.
And they are the ones full of joy and love for everyone they meet.

It is who they have chosen to be.

Being made in the image of GOD is an awesome responsibility and honor that begins with the free will to make the right choice from the start and the self control to live a life worthy of the ONE who created it all.

God Bless

LaVern Vivio

March 12, 2017

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