Temperance is not a word we use in our everyday life. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever heard it used in connected speech. Just like it’s not spoken frequently, most people lack this quality in their lives as well. We are living in the most entitled country in the world in the most entitled era known to man. We want instant gratification. We want what we want whether or not we can afford it or if it’s even good for us. We swipe our credit card without even a second thought. As a nation, we have no control.
Temperance is changed to the word ‘self-control’ in other translations. Which is half correct, but not entirely. New translations believe they are simplifying the KJV when they are really dumbing it down and changing the definition and meaning of verses. The meaning of temperance goes one step further than self-control.
The biblical definition of temperance is being Spirit-controlled in all of life’s enjoyments.
You are not in control when it comes to temperance. When you are exercising temperance, you’ve given God the control.
Many people think that temperance is self control. It is not. If we could control ourselves than we would not need God’s help in life. – Steve Currington SDC p.199
Temperance is letting God balance your life by keeping them under His control.
Self-indulgence is the opposite of temperance. Self-indulgence is when self-control ceases to control itself.
Since our flesh is weak, we are going to let our guard down and slip when we believe no one watching. We lack the self-control when no one is watching, we lack the character to do right on purpose when no one is watching. This behavior gives satan a foothold in our lives, this opens up the door for temptation to enter our lives and for us to engage in it. With self-control, we are in control and sooner or later it can’t control itself.
We need the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives.
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
We have the power over sin, it doesn’t need to control our lives. We can be spirit-led in life when we under the influence of temperance. It’s a choice we make. When we are trying to overcome sin with our own self-control we are going to fail miserably. We need to let God deliver us, we need to let His grace transform our lives. He wants us to have victory!
Romans 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
When we were saved, we were made new and the old man was crucified. Each and every day we need to crucify our flesh. Each day we need to throw ourselves at the feet of the cross and lean on His strength to live righteously. In our own power, we can’t make it. Each day is a new day to make that choice to serve God or sin.
Romans 6:12-14 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Paul is telling us to not let sin have presence in your life but to yield our spirit to God’s control. Sin doesn’t have to keep its grip on you, you can fight it off by letting God have the reigns. If we have sin in our lives we have given it control over us, we have let our flesh have control.
If we are submitting to God, being Spirit-controlled on the inside then our actions will prove what’s going in inside our heart. The key to having temperance in your life is to be submitted to God on the inside and giving Him the power to have direct our steps. When we start to wander, He will gently correct our steps to line up with His will. Temperance get’s complicated when we try to control when we try to do things in our strength. It’s time to let go and let God.
Since I just love Young Living and the fact that they have an oil for everything (!!!) I thought it would be fun to give you an oil suggestion for each of the fruits of the Spirit. While we work towards changing our hearts to be aligned with God’s will and commands, there is an oil to help you move closer to that goal. Surrender is the perfect oil that can help with temperance. Surrender is an oil that supports balancing emotions, clearing the mind, and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress to help you surrender control. Send me an email to get yourself a bottle!