THE ROAD TO GODLINESS.
"Want to get to Jolly?" a Texan might say to you. "Simple. Just go to Wichita Falls and turn east, like you were going to Gainesville or Sherman." That's right, the road to Sherman, Texas, goes through Jolly.
The road to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, goes through Beaver Dam, Horse Branch, and Spring Lick. That's from the west. If you're coming from the east, you could go by way of Stamping Ground.
And if you're going to Saskatoon, you could get there through Prince Albert. (No jokes, please!) You could also go by way of Moose Jaw or Indian Head. You could even get there by going through Elbow and Eyebrow, but that would be out of your way.
But you may not be going to Jolly or Saskatoon (though Moose Jaw sounds like a fun place to visit). If you're a Christian, you should be heading toward godliness. And the road to godliness goes through self-control.
That's what the apostle Peter, one of Jesus' original twelve disciples, meant when he wrote, "Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness" (2 Peter 1:6). Self-control is the ability to say no to things that are harmful to you. It is the ability to put off things that you want to do but can't or shouldn't do right now. It's also the ability to discipline yourself to do the things God, in his Word, tells you to do. Paul, in his letter to Titus, said this: "We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God" (Titus 2:12).
If you want to become more like God, then the way to get there is to develop self control, because self control helps you resist temptation and gives you the patience to develop some of the habits necessary for growth in godliness, like prayer and Bible reading. Self control isn't the only stop on the road to godliness, but it's a main interchange.
REFLECT: Self control is the ability to:
(1) say no to things that are harmful to you;
(2) put off things that you want to do but can't or shouldn't do right now; and
(3) discipline yourself to do the things God tells you to do.
Do you show self control in any of these areas? Do you struggle with self control in any of these areas?
ACT: Cover one of your schoolbooks or your Bible with a road map. Using a magic marker, mark two dots on one of the major roads on the map. Mark one "Godliness" and the other "Self control" as a reminder that the road to godliness leads through self control.
PRAY: "God, today's Bible reading says that knowing you leads to self control. Help me to know you more. Help me to learn more self control from you, especially in the area of... , and lead me on the road to godliness."