Rinse Your Wishes

"Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control" (Proverbs 25:28).

The grace of self-control is a needed virtue in all our lives. We tend to think of self-control as it relates to bodily desire. This is certainly a part of it but we need to be aware that the call to self-control extends to our thoughts, emotions and speech.

I recently learned a spiritual practice that grows the virtue of self-control while reading Alexander Maclaren's exposition of Psalm 86. He instructs us to rinse our wishes:

"...let us learn to make all wishes and annoyances material for prayer. Wishes that are not turned into prayers irritate, disturb, unsettle, Wishes that are turned into prayers are calmed and made blessed. Stanley and his men lived for weeks upon a poisonous root which if eaten crude, brought all manner of diseases, but steeped in running water, had all the acrid juices washed out of it, and became wholesome food. If you steep your wishes in the stream of prayer the poison will pass out of them. Some of them will be suppressed, all of them will be hallowed, and all of them will be calmed. Troubles, great or small, should be turned into prayers."

Life does not have to be eaten crude. We can rinse our anxieties and troubles in grace. This is a hopeful spiritual practice that can help us grow in self-control. This will be our teaching focus at FBC Waco tonight and Sunday. We hope to see you at 5th and Webster.

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