A City Without Walls | Proverbs 25:28

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Proverbs 25:28 ESV

Walls were, in many ways, the strength and hope of a city. Should a neighboring city-state attack, everyone would flee behind the city’s walls for safety. By walls, a city became a fortress, a stronghold and refuge. With this security, the city was able to grow. People were given the stability to build, innovate, and trade. Walls made civilization’s thriving a possibility.

A city, therefore, with broken walls was a city without defense. It flirted with disaster. A city without walls was doomed.

So is the man without self-control.

Although discipline and self-control are intimately related, they are not identical. Discipline is the act of doing what runs contrary to our immediate desires. Self-control is the ability to refrain from immediately pleasurable but ultimately harmful activities.

Because all sin is immediately pleasurable in some manner, a lack of self-control means becoming sin’s buffet. If we cannot tell ourselves “no,” we are doomed to fall into sin’s trap… over and over again.

A city without walls was in great peril, but as long as the city still stood, it was not beyond hope. After all, the book of Nehemiah recounts the efforts, obstacles, and ultimate triumph of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. In the same way, if you lack self-control, go to its source. Paul lists self-control as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Soak yourself in the Scriptures and cry out in prayer for wisdom to walk in the path of life by being self-controlled.

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