Real Men (11)

A real man exercises self-control. He does not allow his passions to rule him. Notice the connection with the qualities mentioned before: He is hospitable, so he seeks to give rather than to get; he puts the needs of others before his own desires. He keeps a clear mind and doesn’t succumb to the enticements of the world. His sense of justice keeps him from harming others. Above all, he seeks to please God, not himself. Thus, he controls his body. He eats to live; he does not live to eat. Aware that he is a steward of his body, he tries to take in enough nourishment without consuming more than he needs. He avoids any food, drink, or substance that will hurt his body or induce an addiction. He takes time for sleep, rest, and exercise. He does not let his tongue run wild. He is quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. He considers the needs of those around him before he expresses himself. He stops angry or hurtful words before they leave his mouth. He has made an agreement with his eyes, not to look at a woman in order to lust after her. He enjoys feminine beauty, but does not allow himself a second glance. When his sexual passions are kindled, he either loves his wife or asks God to tame the beast within him. He watches over his heart, too. He knows that actions follow emotions, which flow from thoughts. He monitors overall value system; he reigns in his loves and hates, seeking to bring them under God’s rule. He presents his mind to God and fights any thought that would lead to sin. He manages his time like wisely. After seeking direction from God, he sets goals that reflect godly priorities, and then he follows his plan. He allocates his money carefully: He gives to the work of the Gospel, saves for emergencies and long-term needs, spends frugally. He abstains from luxury and debt. Where can a man get this kind of self-restraint? Only from God! That is why Paul says that self-control is the work of the Holy Spirit, whom God supplies constantly to those who trust in Christ (Galatians 3:5; 5:22-23). A real man, therefore, relies on the power of Jesus, who alone exercised perfect self-mastery.