3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Summary: Have you ever had a moment when – maybe it was a screaming child, or a rude bullying driver cutting in on you, or a whole succession of unfortunate events happening – but whatever it was, it drove you to the brink of your endurance? That's when you need self-control!

WHEN YOU’RE ON YOUR LAST NERVE

Gal. 5:22

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. All of us can probably think of some time in our life where we went too far.

2. An elderly lady, driving a big, new, expensive car, was preparing to back into a parallel parking space when suddenly a young man in a small sports car zoomed in ahead of her.

3. The woman angrily asked why he had done that when he could tell she was trying to park there.

4. His response was simply, “Because I’m young and I’m quick.” The young man then entered the store.

5. When he came out a few minutes later, he found the elderly lady using her big new car as a battering ram, backing up and then ramming into his car.

6. He angrily asked her why she was wrecking his car. Her response was, “Because I’m old and I’m rich!”

B. THESIS

1. Have you ever had a moment when – maybe it was a screaming child, or a rude bullying driver cutting in on you, or a whole succession of unfortunate events happening – but whatever it was, it drove you to the brink of your endurance?

2. As one friend of mine put it, “She got on my last nerve!” So tonight I would like us to examine one of the most underrated fruit of the Spirit listed in Gal. 5:22 – “Self-Control” (KJV – temperance).

3. Paul said that one of the signs of the Last Days would be a lack of self-control (2 Tim. 3:3). The title of tonight’s message is “When You’re On Your Last Nerve.”

I. WHAT IS SELF-CONTROL?

A. DEFINED

1. Self-control is defined as “The ability to control oneself, in particular one's emotions and desires or the expression of them in one's behavior, especially in difficult situations.”

2. THERE ARE LIMITS TO FREEDOM. My mother used to say, “Your freedom extends to the end of your nose.” As soon as

your freedom encroaches on somebody else’s, yours has to be limited. The Law doesn’t let you hit someone, or cuss a police officer, or drive a car as fast as you want, or to pour oil on the ground, and a million other things. We have to curb our rights for the general good.

3. Self-mastery – to master our bodies, our minds, our speech, our emotions, our habits.

4. Many things in life are lawful for us, if (they are in their proper sphere, or) not excessive.

B. BROAD APPLICATION -- EXAMPLES

1. In relation to FOOD, is means MODERATION. Prov. 25:16, “If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it and you will vomit.”

2. In relation to SEXUALITY, it’s RESTRAINT until marriage.

3. In relation to ANGER, it means FORBEARANCE. Prov. 29:11, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”

4. In SUCCESS, HUMILITY.

5. In DEFEAT, HOPEFULNESS.

6. In PLEASURE, SELF-DENIAL. Prov. 21:7 says, “He who loves pleasure will be poor…”

7. In SPEECH, it means to CONTROL OUR MOUTHS.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen….Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Eph. 4:29; 5:4.

8. In summary, Prov. 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Becoming excessive weakens us to our enemies.

II. WHY SELF-CONTROL IS IMPORTANT?

A. LIFE DEMANDS IT ALL THE TIME

1. Bad drivers.

2. Your Boss gets onto you without cause.

3. Dealing with children/ spouse/ siblings.

4. EXAMPLE: Headbutt Felt 'Round the World

In the 2008 World Cup Final, French soccer star Zinedine Zidane, reacting to trash talk by Italy defender Marco Materazzi, headbutted Materazzi in the sternum. Zidane, France's best player, received a red card and his team went on to lose the match in a penalty-kick shoot-out. For their playoff hopes, the loss of control was fatal.

B. LACK OF SELF-CONTROL – A SECRET DOOR TO SIN

1. “You’re getting on my last nerve” – but not God’s!

2. Sometimes Christians feel justified letting their anger go – shouting, cussing, berating people – when others are doing it to them. But it’s not Christ-like to behave that way.

3. ILLUS.

a. A man was going out of a building. He held the door open for a young woman, who turned out to be a feminist.

b. She said with a sneering tone, “You don’t have to hold the door for me just because I’m a woman!”

c. He answered, “I didn’t do it because you’re a woman! I did it because I’m a gentleman.”

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