11 God’s saving grace has appeared to all people. 12 It teaches us to say no to godless ways and sinful longings. We must control ourselves. We must do what is right. We must lead godly lives in today’s world. 13 That’s how we should live as we wait for the blessed hope God has given us. We are waiting for Jesus Christ to appear in all his glory. He is our great God and Savior. 14 He gave himself for us. By doing that, he set us free from all evil. He wanted to make us pure. He wanted us to be his very own people. He wanted us to long to do what is good. 15 Those are the things you should teach. Cheer people up and give them hope. Correct them with full authority. Don’t let anyone look down on you.
The earlier verses in chapter 2, I think, can be summed up in verse 12 – “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives” .. self-controlled has been repeated in this letter 5 times up til now .. Paul is really wanting us to catch this. I looked up that word in my dictionary and it says – “power of controlling one’s behaviour, emotions, etc.” Not that this means we’re to be all “buttoned-up”, there is a balance, we are to control them not the other way around.
I look back at my life and think I’m doing pretty good at being self-controlled compared to when I first became a Christian, but oh dear, compared to where Jesus wants me to be …. there are still many things that I’m sure make Him cringe. I am grateful that I have the Holy Spirit helping to train me, but I think Paul wants me to know that I need to take responsibility.
Lord, thank you that there is this constant reminder that you want us to lead the best life possible and when I align myself with your desires for me I change and grow. Holy Spirit continue to train me and find that balance of living a self-controlled, upright and godly life.
Written by Suzie Hodgson