So, I was going to go a whole different direction with this, but I guess the benefit of not having posted earlier is that it gives time for God to offer His insight. I can’t even remember what prompted it now, but for some reason today, the picture of Christ hanging on the cross came to mind, and it occurred to me that that was the ultimate in self-control…for God to hang on the cross, not calling on the legions of angels, nor simply taking Himself down, but allowing Himself to be nailed to that instrument of torture and allowing God to be killed, as it were!

And why? Because there was something greater to be accomplished! Could He really see it then? Not so much as the sense of being forsaken set in, but how much greater, then, is the demonstration of self-control? In the moment of greatest separation in one sense, the Father and Son are closest in their unity of purpose as the Son hangs on the cross! (The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, Moltmann)

Our self-control, then, is not dependent on our own will or feelings. It is not something we can accomplish in and of ourselves or at any given moment — it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit and through a continued experience of walking in God’s will.

In light of the self-control demonstrated by Jesus in order to accomplish the greater good of our salvation, what excuse have we for not demonstrating the little self-control asked of us along the way that we, too, might accomplish the greater purpose God has for our lives now that He’s endured the cross to redeem them?

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