Titus 1:8 (part 3)

One of my favorite teachers ever was a woman named Mrs. Keaton. At one point in her life she decided that she needed to lose weight, so she cut out all sweets. Now this was quite a sacrifice for her because she loved sweets; the funny thing about this was that if you had a donut, a cupcake, or a piece of cake, she would often come up to you and ask if she could smell it. She said that just smelling it was enough--she didn't need to taste it. She knew that not eating sweets was what she needed to do to be as healthy as she could be.

Now, I recently decided to give up sweets to lose a few pounds. This mainly meant giving up sodas and sweet tea (tragedy), but it also meant cake, pie, candy, etc. I have tried several times to smell something and then walk away--it is not "enough" for me. In fact, the times I have not instantly failed, I have walked away very angry. That doesn't work for me. I just need to stay far away from sweet temptation.

I have lost quite a bit of weight, but it wasn't on the Mrs. Keaton plan. I had to figure out my own way. This passage says that a mature Christian, a leader, should be self-controlled. This does not by any means only or even mainly concern your diet (though I would argue that is part of it), but this touches every aspect of your life. You should by God's grace and through His Spirit  have a firm grasp on your desires. This includes your desire for food, drink, sex, notoriety, wealth, power, influence...fill in your own blanks.

How you achieve that control may vary--know yourself and your weaknesses, but get yourself under control or do not presume that you are qualified to lead God's people. Harsh? Maybe, but that is God's standard.

Be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

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