Our Friday Night with Friends guest blogger is my dear friend Debbie Hayden. When she first sent this to me, I thought she had a word from God for me and was stunned at how astute she was. It went right to my heart and left me changed. I pray it does for you as well. Be sure to share your love and thanks with her! We want her to write some more. She's a superb writer, and this comes straight from her heart!
God has graciously given me an eye for beauty, especially for the beauty of his creation. Every spring I tell myself: "Self, you will not buy tons of plants this year", but each spring I come home from the different garden centers in my area with armloads of beautiful flowers. And oh, the money I have spent! I think I would spend my last dime on a plant that I "just had to have."
I was thinking about that one morning, as I was admiring all the beauty around me, and admitted to myself that I have a problem with self-control. I see, I like, I buy! That's a foolish thing to do. With all of the things God has blessed me with, I'm always looking for more, be it a flower, or garden ornament or anything that catches my eye and I think I have to have.
Then I started thinking about King David. God gave him just about everything his heart desired but it wasn't enough. He had an eye for beauty, as well, and when he saw Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop, he had to have her. Never mind that she was married to one of his finest most loyal soldiers, he COULD have her, so he WOULD have her. When she ended up pregnant, with his child, he then conspired to have her husband killed in order to make it seem legitimate. How foolish was that?
God let David have his Bathsheba, but he paid a pretty hefty price for her. He lost the baby (conceived out of wedlock with Bathsheba) and his house was forever fraught with violence and heartache. God still loved him, but he had to suffer the consequences of his sin.
Through our failures and the suffering we endure because of the consequences of our sin, we are being shaped into a more perfect person. Wouldn't it be better if we weren't so foolish in the first place? Sin is our nature, but Praise God, He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate price for our sin!
Self-control takes much prayer and practice to achieve. I will admit that it is a weakness that I haven't yet conquered, but I'm working on it. I also know that my Lord loves me and will forgive my failings in that area, but sadly, there will be consequences, as well. I pray that eventually I will learn that lesson and avoid the unpleasant consequences. I pray that for you as well.