“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
Doesn’t this passage describe our world today? Kind of describes the seven deadly sins: greed, pride, gluttony, lust, sloth, wrath, and envy – the things responsible for the status of our current situation. Let’s break each one down:
Greed: wanting the best, fastest, newest, hottest; wanting more money. We bought houses we couldn’t possible afford and the banks let us.
Pride: boasting that you have the best, fastest, newest, hottest, most luxurious.
Gluttony: wanting more food than our bodies need. Over 1/4 of Americans are overweight or obese.
Lust: sex is everywhere you look. When advertisers discovered that “sex sells”, we were bombarded. There’s no such thing as love at first sight – it’s lust at first sight.
Sloth: we are a sloppy bunch. Single people tend to be guilty of this. Who cares if the house is dirty? No one else is going to see it.
Wrath: anger – uncontrollable desires for malice or revenge. “Going postal” doesn’t mean you’re mailing a letter – you take a gun, go into the office of the employer who just fired you and start shooting at random.
Envy: better than the Joneses. Envy goes together with greed and pride. Someone boast that they have a new car and you need to go out to buy a better one. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side.
That first passage was written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy a young pastor in a church in Ephesus in the first century A.D. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Paul ends this passage by saying, “Have nothing to do with them.” Easier said than done, right?
So how does one avoid that. Look at the seven heaven virtues: charity, humility, temperance, chastity (purity), diligence, patience, kindness.
Those are very similar to the fruits of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. ~ Galatians 5:16-25
When you accept Christ as your savior and are baptized, you receive the Holy Spirit in your heart and you have access to these fruits. You don’t automatically get them, but when you need them, all you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit for help.
Notice that self-control is the last, but I think the most important one. The devil’s temptation is everywhere and the only way we can fight it, is to call on the Holy Spirit.
When you’re about to lose your self-control, that’s when you need to ask your What Would Jesus Do?