ROAD TO RESPECT.
Which character do you respect and admire more: Pinky or the Brain? Ren or Stimpy? Roadrunner or Wile E. Coyote? That's kind of a dumb question, isn't it? After all, they're just cartoon characters. Who ever thought of respecting or admiring cartoon characters? OK, then, think about these questions instead:
Which person do you respect and admire more:
someone who shrugs it off when another kid bumps into him or her in the school hallway?
someone who starts yelling and screaming, threatening to call the police, the state highway patrol, and the FBI when another kid bumps into him or her in the school hallway?
Which kind of person do you respect and admire more:
a person who begins crying uncontrollably (and sucking his or her thumb) when he or she gets a C on a test?
a person who calmly asks the teacher how to do better next time?
Which kid do you respect and admire more:
the kid who says, "No thanks, I don't drink," when he's offered a can of beer?
the kid who takes the beer when it's offered and keeps drinking until he's sloppy drunk and silly?
How did you answer those questions? In each case, you probably said you would respect and admire the person who displayed self-control, right? That's only natural. After all, self-control tends to win the esteem and respect of others. People who don't have self-control may sometimes be accepted, feared, or even liked-but they are seldom respected and admired.
That's why God wants us to be self-controlled. He knows what we sometimes forget: Self-control wins the respect and admiration of others.
REFLECT: Can you think of situations when someone earned your respect by displaying self-control? Can you think of a time when you earned someone else's respect by displaying self-control? Do you think God can produce more self-control in you and in your life? If not, why not? If so, how?
PRAY: "Father, I know that self-control is right and that you will bless me if I obey you. Help me to live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to you."