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Precious Prodigal
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There is nothing in the world more devastating
to a parent than to have a prodigal child.

 

 
   
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  March 03, 2015:  Why should I practice self-control when my prodigal doesn’t?
#selfcontrol #temperance
 
 
 
  1 Peter 1:5-6aAnd beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance…

If you’re facing a life crisis, you probably aren’t feeling much like a winner or a success. And that’s especially true if you love a prodigal. If you’re like me, you are more likely to play the “blame game” than to look for the hidden blessing in the adversity.

There’s a blessing in this terrible situation? Yes, indeed. God is working on changing you, and developing the strength and courage of a seasoned traveler doesn’t happen on an easy road. The changes that need to happen in our lives don’t happen on a smooth road either. The truth is that people change only when it hurts more to remain the same.

We’ve already determined that we need a firm foundation when our lives are in chaos. And if you are in the middle of a crisis…whether that crisis is your health, your finances, or your prodigal…you better have something to believe in. For me, that firm foundation is Christ, and everything else stems from that one basic truth.

Once our faith is established, our text verse admonishes us to be diligent to add some things to it. We’ve already looked at choosing to do the right thing ourselves…not always an easy thing to do when someone we love is acting out.

We’ve also looked at having the humility to admit we aren’t always right and need to open our ears to add knowledge to our faith and good works. That might mean being accountable to someone we trust to tell us the truth even when we aren’t going to like hearing it.

So we’ve started with faith and added to that faith doing the right thing and being open to learn new behaviors. We’re even trying to be patient as God makes the changes in us. Now what? Now we add to those things “temperance” or self-control. Because we try so hard to control people, places, and outcomes, you’d think we could control ourselves. But that’s not usually the way it happens.

A young wife told me, “He drinks, and I get crazy.” There’s a lot of truth to that, isn’t there? It’s a challenge to see that our lives are as much out of control as our prodigal’s. It’s also easy to justify our behavior by saying we wouldn’t say or do those things if we weren’t pushed into it. Here’s where I gently remind you that this is exactly what the prodigal says about his behavior.

God expects you and me to exercise self-control. That means not only self-control in our choices but also in our responses and reactions. That might mean being silent instead of striking back with cruel words of our own. It might mean not lecturing, raging, berating or blaming however much we think it justified. It might mean taking our hands off a person or a situation instead of trying to “fix” it.

The wilderness path isn’t much fun, is it? But that’s where real peace and serenity are found…there on that wilderness path, in that place of hardship. God is busy about the business of changing us, and He does that through trouble and adversity. Trouble changes us, and great trouble changes us greatly. Whether it changes us for the good is up to us.

Challenge for Today: What might happen if we, just for today, began to add self-control to our faith, good works, and knowledge?
 
 
 
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  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,