Handing Dr. Babcock some theatre tickets he said, "Take these. You need the recreation of going to this play." His pastor looked at them. Seeing they were tickets to a play of a kind he could not conscientiously attend, he said kindly, "Thank you, but I can't take them. I can't go."
"Why not?" the physician asked.
"Doctor, it's this way. You're a physician - a surgeon, in fact. When you operate, you scrub your hands meticulously until you are especially clean. You wouldn't dare operate with dirty hands. I'm a servant of Christ. I deal with precious human souls. I wouldn't dare do my service with a dirty life."
When we dirty our hands, or as the Bible says "dirty our clothes" in the things of this world, we lose our witness, thus we can be of no service to anyone. There are many ways to dirty your clothes, but in almost every way we dirty our clothes by the lack of self-control. This is why self-control is so important to our witness for Christ in this world.
Hudson Taylor, dressed in a Chinese costume, while waiting for a boatman to take him across the river, stood on a jetty. Presently a richly dressed Chinaman came and also stood waiting. When the boat drew near this man not seeing that Mr. Taylor was a foreigner, struck him on the head and knocked him over into the mud. Mr. Taylor said the feeling came to him to smite the man, but God immediately stopped him. When the boat came up, the Chinaman looked at Mr. Taylor and recognized him as a foreigner. He could hardly believe it, and said, "What, you a foreigner, and did not strike me back when I struck you like that?" Mr. Taylor said "This boat is mine. Come in and I will take you where you want to go." On the way out, Mr. Taylor poured into that Chinaman's ears the message of salvation. He left the man with tears running down his face. Such is the power of the Gospel of Christ. --The King's Business
Self-control is so important in the life of the believer, yet today our society and even the church are not doing very well in that department. Yet it is a fruit of the Spirit, and if we do not have self-control we are not Spirit-controlled but rather controlled by the world, the flesh and the devil. I believe this is one of the major battlefields of the enemy in the life of Christians. May we seek to have self-control in our lives, to live them not for our self-gratification but for the glory of God!