Searching a modern dictionary for the words temperance or temperate likely yields a definition limiting temperance to self-control or abstinence from alcohol. However, the scripture infers a much broader and deeper definition. Studying the root word temper offers a better biblical definition of the word than today's typical dictionary definition. Temper is an action word that means to mix something. Although the Bible contains only a few uses of the words temperate and temperance, these words mean to be balanced or to have a proper mix. Paul’s message, as he reasoned with Felix, included a message of temperance. Improper balance is one of greatest problems plaguing modern Christianity. It can best be seen in the tendency to lean either toward absolute truth without love or love without seeking the balance of presenting the whole counsel of God.
(For children): Our bodies work best with a proper balance of eating, sleeping, working, and playing. To be the best we can for the Lord, we must read the Bible, pray, go to church, and do what the Lord would have us to do.
(For everyone): The Bible says, a false balance is not good (Proverbs 20:23). This is speaking of a balance that measures weights, but the practical application of this truth holds true within the Christian life and walk. A false balance is never good.
Why is it so important for believers to grasp a proper balance? What problems can exist when we lose sight of temperance in our daily walk with the Lord and with others?
- Ask the Lord to show you the importance of temperance.
- Ask God to help you reason with others concerning temperance.
Wholly Thine (Hawks)