ES2PeJ05 2 Peter 1:5-9 Knowledge and Self Control
The story is told of a religious gathering where a famous actor and an elderly minister were both present. The actor, while not on the program, was nevertheless asked by the emcee to come forward and give a word. At a loss as to what to say, he turned to the elderly minister and whispered, “I don’t really know what to do.” The seasoned pastor shoved his Bible into the hands of the actor and replied, “Just read Psalm 23.” The actor stood and with his eloquent voice read the psalm. When finished, he wasn’t quite sure what to do, so he turned to the minister and announced, “Well, I’d like the minister to come up and say a few words on this.” The minister surprised everyone by merely reciting the psalm again and then sitting down. The actor leaned over to him and said, “You did much better than I, and now I understand why. I knew the psalm, but you knew the Shepherd.” That’s the kind of knowledge we should be after. Peter isn’t interested in anything less.7 Knowing God personally, intimately, is the most important kind of knowledge we should strive to possess.
There is an old hymn by Eliza Hewitt which expresses this desire:
More about Jesus would I know,
More of his grace to others show;
More of his saving fulness see,
More of his love who died for me.
It calls for a self-disciplined life following Christ’s example of being in the world but not of the world.
We should sit loose to all the things of time and sense, as well to those which are lawful as those which are unlawful! “using every thing so as not to abuse ith
Self-control requires an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses, with emphasis on the latter. It means building the will to say no when a powerful appetite inside you screams yes.
• No to fatty food, choosing health instead.
• No to friends who will lead you away from Christ.
• No to casual sex, saving intimacy for marriage.
• No to laziness in favor of “can do” and “will do.”
Self-control is a long, steady course in learning attitudes that do not come naturally, and channeling natural appetites toward God’s purposes. Where are your weak points? Pray with a friend for God’s help to redirect weakness into strength.
Peter is saying to those learning to follow Christ, “Begin to control yourself. Say no to ungodly passions. Grow up. Get on your feet; pick up your faith; do what is right; increase in your knowledge of God; for your own salvation’s sake, begin to control yourself.”