“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; II Peter 1:6
The third step in our journey towards becoming more like Jesus is temperance. Just what does that word mean to us?
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the larges and most influential women’s groups in our country was a movement called the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. It was a social and political campaign advocating moderation or total abstinence from alcohol, prompted by the belief that drink was responsible for many of society’s ills. I wonder how many of these women would feel if they could see how freely alcohol is distributed even in our grocery stores.
But when Peter refers to temperance, he is not just speaking of alcohol. The word temperance means moderation or self-restraint, what an individual voluntarily refrains from doing. It can apply to so many areas of our life, from the food we eat to the books we read and other entertainment we indulge in. Paul said that some things were not expedient to him. In other words, he voluntarily laid some things aside to pursue his relationship with the Lord.
So, to draw closer to the Lord, and come to the fruitful place He desires us to be, we may have to change some things we do, put aside some activities that we like. I am an avid reader, and I have learned that I must exercise caution in the books I choose, and only read those that are uplifting and inspiring. Also, spending time with my Bible and in prayer must come first.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your guidance and direction, help us to be temperate in all things, and be use moderation in our actions, thoughts and feelings.
Devotion by Anne Johnston