"Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." (Proverbs 25:28 NIV)
In Peter Drucker's book, "The Effective Executive," he says that every time you meet a person with great strengths, you are also meeting someone with great weaknesses. We all know about the celebrities, athletes, and even presidents who, although they had tremendous strengths, also had a weakness in their character that was ultimately their downfall. In spite of the fact that they were very strong, they let a weakness destroy their lives.
Self-indulgence, in the form of lack of self-control or undisciplined living, will weaken you. It can be the way you spend money. It can be sex. It can be food. It can be alcohol. It can be your emotions. It can be the way you manage your time. Anything that's left out of control will weaken your life.
It may seem like just a small thing, but the fact is, small things can have an enormous impact in your life. If somebody comes to you and says, "I want to give you a 100-pound sack of Kentucky bluegrass seed. There's just one problem: It has a few crabgrass seeds in it." Would you say, "I'll put it on my lawn right away"? Probably not, because you know that eventually the crabgrass would take over your whole lawn. It would eat up the Kentucky bluegrass.
You cannot indulge little weaknesses and assume they won't eventually take over and weaken your whole life. It doesn't make any difference what area of your life is out of control — time, money, food, sex, attitudes, whatever. It's just a question of time before that lack of control begins to undermine the way you live for God.
"Do not be misled. Remember that you cannot ignore God and get away with it. A man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows. If he sows to please his own desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death" (Galatians 6: 7-8 LB).
Where do you find the strength to build discipline back into your life? Give your weaknesses to Jesus, and then take the steps he tells you to take. "And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong" (Ephesians 6:10 MSG).
Talk About It
- What are the weaknesses in your life that display a lack of self-control?
- What steps do you believe God is telling you to take today to move away from those weaknesses and into greater strength?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.