Temperance. What is it?
The American Dictionary defines it as: “To have self-restraint, to be moderate, abstention, and to exhibit self-control.”
The Hebrew word for Temperance is: Histapkut which means: “To embrace simplicity. To be content with less by not focusing on trying to fulfill never-ending needs or desires; so you can be fully present to the moment and available to meet others needs.”
The Greek word for Temperance is: Egkratela which means: “Having control or mastery over one’s own desires and passions including faithfulness to one’s marriage vows; purity and chastity. Strength of integrity and character.
What does God’s word say about Temperance?
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness: And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brother kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the price? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things, Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Cor. 2:27-28
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine; That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity and in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teacher of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:1-5
Temperance is a quality that the world hardly mentions anymore. It seems the more you have the more you want and the less you are satisfied with (and respected for). It is also good to have the strength of character to back up what you say with action and to be the kind of person that people can rely on. Stability and integrity are the foundations of a character that is structured in temperance. These qualities of temperance are the kind of things that aren’t flashy or uplifted (especially in the kind of culture we live in) today. With age, comes wisdom (hopefully) and new appreciation for the virtues that create a real person–not a persona. God bless us with the fortitude to get this concept early in life, so we can have a longer time developing the kind of things that will build a person that can make an impact on the world (even in our own “little circle”) in a good way.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
There seems to be glamour and elevation in the things that pass so quickly. It is hard to take the time to develop the very qualities that I desire to see in the people I deal with on a daily basis. Lord, help me to stop and be the person that I need to be to live a life of integrity. This will require me to have temperance and to “wrestle down” the temporary passions that can derail my life focus. Lord, help me to see the path ahead of me with the light of your Word to guide my every move. I know that your lamp will not lead me wrong. Help me to keep a good attitude as I will see others enjoying themselves on the path of immediate gratification. I know that this is not the path that will lead to good choices or a good future. Help me to keep my focus on you and on the hope that you have burned deep in my heart. This hope is a deep desire to fulfill a life that is so rich in relationships, meaning, love and goodness. Make this dream of mine come true, because Lord you are the one who placed it in my heart to begin with! Lord let it be done in Jesus’ name. Amen.”