Joys of self-control. 12.4.10 & 12.29.11
"The life of self-control is no barren deprivation, no wilderness of monotony. Renunciation there is, but it is the renunciation of the ephemeral and false in order that the abiding and true may be realized. Enjoyment is not cut off; it is intensified. Enjoyment is life; it is the slavish desire for it that kills. Is there anywhere a more miserable man than he who is always longing for some new sensation? Is there anywhere a more blessed being than he who, by self-control, is satisfied, calm, and enlightened? Who has most of physical life and joy—the glutton, the drunkard, and the sensualist who lives for pleasure only, or the temperate man who holds his body in subjection, considering its needs and obeying its uses? I was once eating a ripe, juicy apple as it came from the tree, and a man near me said, “I would give anything if I could enjoy an apple like that.” I asked, “Why can’t you?” His answer was, “I have drunk whisky and smoked tobacco until I have lost all enjoyment in such things.” In pursuit of elusive enjoyments, men lose the abiding joys of life." -James Allen
Self-control being the art of steering clear of the false to pursue and cultivate that which is true and better. Self-control is difficult because it is always abstaining from fleshly desires…so much so that a man can over time begin to wonder why bother…why abstain from so many joys? What am I gaining in the end?….when in reality self-control is in fact the gate way to the abundant blessed life. Lack of self control over long periods of time leave us like the man that desires the apple…his soul longs for the ability to enjoy life but his pursuit of sinful pleasure in his devices, has left him without the ability to enjoy life. Sin is like meth, it is addictive and as God promises…will be guaranteed to result in death…leaving a person so far from a satisfied life…that life becomes a personal hell on earth. Action: My sons, esteem and pursue the habit of self control…it will keep you free from the cursed life of sin and bring about in your life joy, satisfaction, peace and blessing beyond your wildest dreams.