Words of Wisdom - Be Self-controlled – Ecclesiastes 7:7-12
March 1, 2023, 8:00 AM

7. Extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8. The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
9. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
10. Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.
11. Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. 
12. Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.

Have you ever noticed how much wisdom is tied into self-control? Solomon mentioned five areas where self-control exhibits wisdom.

First is to control your desire for money. Money and greed tempt us, Resist the temptations of money and unfair dealings, even if it means getting less money. Be warned also when deals seem to be so sweet.

Second, we need to practice self-control by being patient. When you need to model Christ to those around you, do they see someone who is impatient, impulsive, and wanting their own way? Aren't you glad that God is loving, merciful, gracious, kind, long-suffering, but also holy, righteous, just, and patient? Learn to leave results to God even in your waiting and in your praying as you learn patience.

Third, be self-controlled when it comes to pride. I heard a story about a frog who wanted to go south with the geese for the winter. He was too heavy for any goose to carry him for any distance. Then the frog came up with a suggestion. "Two of you could hold sticks between you and then I'll hang on with my mouth. You can stop periodically for rests."

Things were going along fine. The frog was looking at all the scenery when other geese flew by. "My, my isn't that a clever idea? I wonder who thought of it?" The problem with the frog was pride, for he opened his mouth to tell them and fell to his death.

Fourth, be self-controlled with your anger. As believers in Jesus, we need to learn to control anger and passions. If it is a problem in your life, then it is a spiritual problem. There is an acceptable manner to handle anger in effective ways.

Last, be self-controlled in your attitude. I like the way Solomon puts it. “Don't keep complaining about the present and raising up how things used to be in the good old days. The reciting of history that is used to criticize and show displeasure with the present might just as well not be said.

When we complain we are miserable and so are others. Be what God wants you to be today. If something needs changing, help bring change for the betterment of all. If you can't help build things up, then don't tear things down. Satisfaction is learned through self-control of our temptations, emotions, tongues, attitudes and actions.

Application: Does Jesus need to do some healing in your life in any of thee areas…. to control your temper …to stop complaining…pride…patience?

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are loving, merciful, gracious, kind, long-suffering, holy, righteous, just, and patient. These things I seek to be in You.