These two are a well-matched pair as I believe when we are struggling with self-control we are really allowing idols into our life. The idol may be what I'm eating, what I'm spending my time on, what I'm spending my money on, what I'm looking at or what I'm listening to...whatever is distracting me from following God completely.
When I think of faith, I first think of God's faithfulness to us. As we see how faithful He has been to us, the result should be a greater obedience to everything God tells us.
My faith has been tested this past week in regards to my children. My son was hospitalized recently and quite honestly I am struggling with paranoia. Accidents remind us that life is unexpected. I am needing to realize that God is the protector of my children, not me. He sees all and loves my children more than I do. I would like to say that I have a trusting, unswerving faith...but this I do know. I serve a God who is worthy of all trust and praise and does not change.
My favorite faith-filled characters in fiction:
1) Michael Hosea in Redeeming Love
2) Mama Beth in Texas Roads
3) Hanne in Wildflowers of Terezin
4) Elisa in the Zion Covenant Series by Bodie & Brock Thoene
A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls. -Proverbs 25:28
Where are the weaknesses in your wall? These things allow the enemy to get through.
I think of Nehemiah when he set out to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. Every step he took was bathed in prayer.
When I think of self-control I think of what do we spend our time and money on? What do we look to when the chips are down?
When my son got out of the hospital, I came home feeling depressed and ate a piece of chocolate cake. I'm not saying that eating cake is wrong or anything. But for me it was an idol because I was eating emotionally, trying to fill a void that only God can fill properly.
Self-Control in Fiction:
1) Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin is set around the Temperance movement of the 1920s.
2) And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers shows the impact of an extra-marital affair on a family and shows a great picture of what repentance truly means.
3) The Last Sin Eater by Francine River is a wonderful story about the devastating effects of sin on all our lives and the power of Jesus to set us free from the power of sin.
4) Church Ladies by Lisa Samson deals with several topics: the aftermath of an affair, pre-marital sex, and food/weight issues.
5) Mary DeMuth's books deal with the delicate topics of anger and abuse.