“Oh wow, a surprise birthday party. I can’t believe it.”
“Chocolate cake too?”
“I wasn’t expecting chocolate cake or a party.”
Let’s stop here for a second, and look at this mentally.
Does the cake need to be eaten?
Is eating the cake expected?
Is eating the cake a requirement?
Probably not. Probably. And, no.
Now, exchange cake for pain.
When pain surprises us, do we react with disbelief or nonchalance?
Do we eat up what is served to us, whether it’s in the form of arthritis or plantar fascia?
Basically, self-control and wisdom are impersonal. They apply to cake and pain.
As our expression of self-control and wisdom becomes more secure as we turn down cake, and pain, we don’t need or want.
From Eccl. 11
“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.”
From 21st Century Science and Health, “If thinking doesn’t shift out of the vicious cycle of believing in a temporal life, life is very disheartening and we feel cursed. Error hides behind a lie and excuses guilt, but can’t be concealed forever. Even the attitude that tries to justify or hide guilt is punished. People who avoid justice and deny truth tend to perpetuate sin, bring on crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy.”
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”