It seems anger and lusts go hand in hand. We long for something or someone, and when we don’t get it we become angry and lash out. Self control is what all of us need but we all seem to have our own understanding of how to obtain it.
Some have moved into caves or monasteries in an attempt to be apart from all that tempts them. I suppose the reasoning goes like this. If I am having trouble with lust for women maybe I can go where there aren’t any women so I won’t be tempted anymore. Others think if women would simply cover themselves men won’t be able to see their skin or shape and lust will come to an end. Some even take this as far as to cover even their heads and faces but still it doesn’t work. In fact imagination takes over and the lust within may even become stronger.
Buddhists try to remove desire all together thinking that’s the solution. Of course if that were even possible we would be something other than human; because desire is part of what it means to be human. If we are successful in killing off desire for things deemed bad for us we are going to cut ourselves off from the ability to desire the good too.
There’s only one possible answer to this dilemma. God promises to give us a new heart and put his Spirit in us. It is only through the miracle of rebirth that we can gain the needed self-control. Even then what we call “self”-control is really God control. Self-control is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and can’t be worked up or learned by sheer will power on our own. It is only a result of letting the Spirit of God have control of our lives and giving him the job of changing our desires. Even still we may have pulls or cravings for things we know aren’t good but that is where the miracle takes place. God provides the way of escape but we still have to take it. We by faith have to take what he provides us or else we go down again in lust and anger.
You may ask “How does this work out in the practical day to day experiences.” I would say, “That’s a great question!” Obviously we each have more than our share of opportunities to be tempted into sin so in a way it is by trial and error. The condemnation provided by the enemy can eventually serve as motivation to seek God once we are sufficiently wore down with our own self effort. Ultimately it is learning to look to Christ when in need of deliverance. He is our keeper. We read it over and over in the scriptures he is called our shepherd, overseer of our souls, Lord, master, and teacher and so on. Each of these titles imply he is responsible for us and our job is to let him.
Finally let me say, there is a secret way to victory and it may sound strange at first. The world will say, “Try harder”, as if more self effort is the answer. The Bible tells us the opposite. It says we are powerless and in need of someone to keep us. The Apostle Paul learned the secret when he prayed to God to remove his thorn in the flesh. God’s response to him was “My grace is sufficient. My power is made perfect in weakness.” There you have it. The secret is discovering we are powerless and in need of God every second of the day to be our protector, guide and the one real power within to overcome each and every challenge we face.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from failing, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25 KJV)
Written by Louie