Reflections: Taming the Heart & Self-Control

7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

~ Ge 4:7 (NIV)

I write a lot of governing yourself, aka mastering yourself.  If we do not, then sin is ready to pounce upon us and take control of us.  This occurs when we fail to ask God for help and guidance and use the Holy Spirit to overcome sin.

How does sin get to us?  Most often, through the heart.  By playing with our emotions, we can justify anything.

 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9, King James Version)

The problem occurs when we let our hearts do all the thinking for us.  We begin to make mountains out of molehills.  We make slights and wrongs into crimes against humanity.  We forget that there are human beings involved “on the other side” who are able to justify their actions just as much as we are.  We forget to rule our hearts with our minds and with God’s Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:23), and we fall into various temptations.

 15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. (Galatians 5:15, King James Version)

It then becomes a game of divide and conquer.  Scatter the sheep, and the pickin’s are easy.  If you do not scatter, you can present a united front and drive off the wolves.

Who are the wolves?  Again, check that heart.  Think through all the good “their side” has done and all the bad “your side” has done.  Who are the peacemakers?  Who are the ones stirring the pot?  Sheep try to stick together, while wolves try to break the herd apart.  Sheep try to discern what is going on and protect themselves and others, while wolves seek to confuse and conquer.

Also, be sure you don’t run from one pack of wolves just to meet up with another.

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