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A Spirit of Self Control

A Spirit of Self Control

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Samuel Stokes, an American missionary, walked through the Punjab, carrying only a water-bottle and blanket, trusting wholly to native hospitality. In one village he was given a particularly hostile reception. The headmen of the village sat in chairs in a circle, smoking, leaving him the whole evening sitting on the floor. When he asked if he might nurse their sick and teach them, they hurled horrible insults at him; but he made no reply. Then they gave him stale crusts in a filthy bowl. He thanked them courteously, and ate. For two days this lasted. On the third day, the headman laid his turban at Stokes’ feet as a token of respect. He explained that they had heard that Jesus’ disciples were commanded to love their enemies, and had decided to put him to the test. The result had amazed them. Now they brought him their choicest food, and were eager to hear his teaching. If he had lost his temper, he would have lost his chance.  Paul reminds Timothy that God has not given us a spirit of Fear,  but a spirit of Power, Love, and Self Control.  Self Control is an essential theme of Christianity and this Sunday we will consider how it affects our live.