Why "Restraint" Isn't a Dirty Word
Type A or Type B? Which personality trait do you tend to identify yourself with?
Typically I would respond with "A" as my dominant trait loud and clear. Hence, Type A you will relate with my rant below. Type B, keep reading, this will make sense for you shortly.
I'm pretty sure these examples would qualify me as an "A". Mind always running, frequently senses or fears lack, tendencies to hoard to save for "later", driven in nature, responsible leader, self-assigns the burdens of others or organizations, charismatic in crowds, middle name "Control", futuristic, orderly, systematic in approach, goal oriented, recognition seeking, processes inward, champion, anxious, excitable, thrives on elevating others to potential, purpose driven, usually on a mission (whether world domination or world's fastest grocery run...).
This was my normal, life was fine. Then I heard this quote.
"We find a life of elegance through restraint."
SCREEEEEEEEEEEECH - to - a - STOP.
Elegance through restraint?
God recently used these three words to wake me up to His Word. The Words that have the final say, by the way over any personality type.
If my "old self" is truly done away with, meaning, I AM NOT SUBJECT to a compulsive or stressful way of life, should not that reality set me free [2 Corinthians 5:14 NLT]? If I truly possess everything I need for every circumstance, AT THIS EXACT MOMENT, [2 Corinthians 9:8] would I be willing to turn down the static of culture seducing me to shallow solutions? Would I become satisfied with just one serving of dessert, a week of poor gym attendance, or less "stuff" if He truly promised me an inheritance that can never spoil or fade away [1 Peter 4:1]? What if it's true; God knows what I need, therefore anxiety adds no good thing to today or tomorrow [Matthew 6:32-33]? What if it's true that He has a plan for me, and it's good? So that means, I don't have to strive for fame, fortune, or making a name for myself?
Elegance is a lovely word isn't it? Probably appealing more to ladies. Men, take note, your behavior can radiate elegance in a very attractive masculine way too! Mother Theresa, Harv, my mom and Mr. Darcy towards the end of Pride & Prejudice come to mind. I picture an elegant person having restraint, gentle, kind, beautiful inside & out, modest, confident, and content. A few things elegance is NOT; prideful, the feeling after binging on _______, yelling at a family member, overspending time OR money on the superfluous.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6
Contentment sounds nice. Restraint? Restraint can sound like a dirty, un-fun, and legalistic word. However, operating with restraint brings peace, joy & life. Contentment. How? If I already posses everything, why would I need to overindulge? Why get distracted satisfying worldly appetites, after having access to the abundance of Heaven? Is it wrong to enjoy the pleasures of this world like, food, possessions, and relationships? NO!
It's just that none of those things posses me.
I am possessed by Jesus and have access to all of Heaven's resources.
The reality of the cross trumps personality traits as our so-called identities.
We are content being famous in Him.