I want to dedicate a post to a powerful virtue that not many people walking around on the Earth have truly mastered. It is the challenging virtue of Temperance that I speak of. This is an ancient concept that even philosopher Plato talked about in his day. We live in a time when it’s cool to loot and riot and protest. I’m here to preach the opposite message. My message is this …
Keeping your cool is a super power.
Every day I scroll through Twitter looking at appalling tweets meant to trigger a furious anger. It is wrath bait. I’m on Twitter to get the daily news from sources that I trust over mainstream media – yet I am still bombarded with tweets specifically meant to trigger anger. If I wanted to I could run through Twitter like a hot knife through butter owning people with a righteous anger – but I refrain from this. “Satan wants me angry” I tell myself. Instead I’ll do the opposite. I’ll be happy and joyful that the Lord has sent his sheep out amongst the wolves. The sheep die. The wolves die. But only the sheep will live in peace for eternity. Why not start early and be at peace right now? I choose to live in peace early. It’s not a moment too soon. Live in peace right now. In fact, I believe temperance (aka holding your peace) is a trait of being saved. I am rather convinced.
It wasn’t me who thought up this concept. I heard Bill Schnoebelen preaching on the idea of shalom (the Hebrew concept of “perfect peace”) amongst many other things. Here is his sermon that inspired me …
There are several scriptures that speak of the power of choosing peace …
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Isaiah 26:3 KJV
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Exodus 14:14 KJV
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Matthew 7:24-27 KJV
Even the Full Armor of God mentions this. In Ephesians 6 where “your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace“. Peace is part of the full armor of God. To hold your peace shields you from harm.
Does this come as any surprise? Think of the extreme violence in some of these protest videos going viral on social media for example. Wrath has led these unfortunate souls directly into harm’s way. “No justice no peace”. You have heard this chant? Satan has led many to their own destruction. Many are destroyed because they lacked temperance.
To a lesser extent the same can happen on social media. If you fire off a comment because you are offended then you can find yourself being fired in the real world the next day. That’s what happened to Claira Janover. She is the Harvard graduate whom was fired from Deloitte for her wrath. The “cancel culture” will gleefully come after those who can’t hold your peace. I think cancel culture is probably fueled by demons ganging up on folks who lack temperance.
Practice makes perfect peace. How would you handle these situations?
- Your significant other doesn’t like whom you are voting for.
- A relative you don’t like asks you for a loan.
- You get cut off on the parkway.
- The car in front of you at the drive thru orders 7 bags of food.
These are just some examples. There are struggles harder than this. The point is that temperance is something I strongly focus on day in and day out. It is an incredible feeling to shrug off daily attacks that try to sabotage your happiness and joy. Satan wants you sad – so do the opposite. Choose to live happy in a hurricane of woes. Take the first step. Plant the seed in your soul that you will live happy. Nurture that happiness planted within. Convert grievances into honorable and respectable challenges. Watch your newfound superhero power of serenity supernova into something amazing.