Have you ever eaten so much you thought you were going to explode? Most of us have (eaten too much, not exploded!). But did you know that for some animals that is a real danger?
For example, horses love oats. If a horse eats his fill of oats, the dry oats tend to make him thirsty. Then, while his stomach is full of dry oats, the horse will start drinking water. The water causes the oats inside his stomach to expand, like a bowl of oatmeal expands when you add water. Before long the horse "founders," and becomes too sick to walk. He may even die if he doesn't get help.
Pretty gruesome, huh? Tell that to your mom the next time she tells you to eat all your oatmeal (just don't tell her you read it here!). Seriously, though, here's the point: An appetite that's out of control is a dangerous thing.
Of course, you'd never eat a whole barrel of oats and then drink yourself sick, would you? But you do have appetites that can hurt you if you don't control them.
"Like what?" you ask.
Well, like the desire to be accepted. Like your desire for approval. Like your desire to be loved. Like your desire to get your own way.
Those appetites and desires are not always bad things, but they sure can get you into a lot of trouble if you don't control them. God wants you to learn self-control because your appetites and desires can hurt you, even destroy you, without it.
Many kids steal things because they can't control their desires. Many kids get hooked on alcohol and drugs because they can't control their desires. A lot of kids get into trouble sexually because they can't control their desires.
So listen to what God says. "Be self-controlled" (1 Peter 1:13, NIV). Practice saying no to your appetites and desires. Learn to control them-instead of letting them control you.
REFLECT: Do you have trouble controlling any of these appetites or desires?
The desire to be accepted
The desire to get my own way
The desire to be loved
My physical appetite (for food)
How can you practice saying no those desires? Have you asked God to help you develop self-control in any of these areas? If not, why not?
PRAY: "Lord, please help me to learn to control my appetites and desires instead of letting them control me. Please make me holy and self-controlled in all I do by your Holy Spirit's power."