This morning’s newspaper brought a surprising article on self control (see Ann Lukits, “The Secret to Resisting Temptation” in The Wall Street Journal (November 25, 2014) D1). The surprise was that it was in the newspaper at all, but here was the “latest study” finding: “People who excel at resisting temptation . . . deliberately avoid situations in which their self-control might fail. . . The finding suggest high self-control is associated with avoiding, rather than overcoming, distraction.”
Peter closes his first letter with a command to be self-controlled and alert. He is not, however, the only person to mention this in the New Testament (Paul mentions it 3 times in 1 Thessalonians and 2 Timothy), but it seems to be of special interest to Peter for he refers to it three times in this book alone (1:13; 4:7 and here).
We cannot rush headlong through life without thinking about where we are going. We must consider the paths most traveled and note where they lead from the lives of those who have taken them. We must consider the paths less traveled and note the same thing of them. We must also consider the path of Christ, lit by scripture. It some cases, it will be the path most taken. In others, the path least taken. But either way, we must resist the temptation to be lazy, popular, or contrarian and instead, lay aside everything that would weigh us down and travel the road to God. While God has provided us an inheritance reserved for us in heaven, it can be lost without proper attention to discipline and self-control.