Reigning In The Senses

The natural instincts of the heart and the continuous input of the senses combine to serve up countless opportunities to be drawn into sin. Without a self-discipline that is seasoned, strong, and constant, the heart quickly falters and falls back into its old ways. Learning to persevere, with merciful acceptance of one's own weaknesses, leads to a humble, but resilient self-control.

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ." (Titus 2.12-13)

Managing the Heart

We are creatures of sight and sound,
Depending on senses to live;
They simply cannot be shut down -
The heart can filter what they give.

The pleasures which senses produce
Give rise to the heart's selfish joy;
To not partake is to cut loose
The heart from bindings that destroy.

The heart detached from its desire,
Striving to live as God would want,
Denies selfish joy and its fire -
Even as instincts goad and taunt.

In striving to filter senses,
The heart's passions will be reigned in;
Urges are corralled in fences
Of self-control - limiting sin.

A managed heart's open and kind;
Disordered hearts are deaf and blind.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51.10)

Lord, grant me the grace of self-control, that my heart may be governed by Your steadfast love and kindness. May the instincts of my heart be purified and freed from their natural tendencies to sin. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2009