We are a culture that seeks pleasure of the eyes and of the flesh. We eat too much. We buy too much. We seek too much pleasure. We are not known for our moderation and yet, God calls us to moderation. “Let your moderation be known unto all men” (Philippians 4:5). Moderation should define us! What does moderation even look like since it’s hard to find this quality in a nation that is overweight, gluttons, seekers of pleasure rather than seekers of God, spendthrifts, and entertainment seekers?
How did I study this word, moderation? I went to my 1828 Webster Dictionary, of course! “Restraint of violent passions or indulgence of appetite. Eat and drink with moderation, indulge with moderation in pleasure and exercise.” Wow! The last word stood out to me. Many in our culture are addicted to exercise and spend countless hours and money to get in shape. Alcohol use is high, even among Christian women. It’s common for them to be having a glass of wine at 2:00 in the afternoon. It’s easier than ever to indulge in being entertained instead of keeping a clean and tidy home and training our children. Many women today are given to violent passions because they are being led by their emotions and feelings instead of by wisdom and moderation.
We must not allow our culture to define our lives. We must be the ones to take control and make wise choices by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and reminding ourselves that we are dead and freed from sin (Romans 6). If you are tempted to overeat, remind yourself that you are going to be the master over your flesh from now on and it is going to be your slave. You aren’t going to allow it to bully you around anymore. Yes, you can take a couple bites of a rich, chocolate, gooey birthday cake. The cake doesn’t have to have mastery over you since Christ lives within you and you have everything you need for life and godliness. You can choose to have some cut up veggies for a snack instead of chips every time you are hungry. You. can. control. your. appetite!!!
We don’t need to exercise for hours every day. We don’t have to have a perfectly toned body like they show on all of the magazine covers and television shows. Our tummies don’t have to be flat and our arms perfectly toned. It’s okay to grow older and spend more time on things that have eternal value. Let’s become more like Jesus and learn to have a meek and quiet spirit instead, because true beauty comes from within and not our dead and dying flesh.
We also don’t need to be entertained every second of every day. We don’t have to check Facebook every few minutes and see how many “likes” we have received. Let’s care a whole lot more about pleasing our LORD, instead of gaining the approval of man. We are commanded to work hard and move. Our homes shouldn’t be a dirty mess. We have the discipline to keep them clean and tidy because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Concerning alcohol, it is made very clear in His Word that we are to be “sober” so judge every sip you take of alcohol with the word sober. We are also commanded to “not drink much” and “just a little” so keep those phrases in your mind if you do drink alcohol. It can easily enslave people and as believers, we only want to be enslaved to Christ and His will.
Another definition of moderation given is “calmness of mind; equanimity; as, to bear prosperity or adversity with moderation.” I had no clue what equanimity meant so I looked this word up: “evenness of mind; not easily elated or depressed, which sustains prosperity without excessive joy, and adversity without violent agitation of the passions and depressions of spirit.” In other words, we don’t allow our emotions and feelings to control our lives. Our lives must be built upon the Word of God and His truth, therefore, we can keep everything in perspective.
This life on earth is a speck of eternity. We live for eternity and store our treasures there. We know that everything on this earth is going to burn so we hold on to the things of this earth loosely. We invest our lives into people because they are eternal; either eternally with the LORD or in hell. This guides our life in how we treat others and the words we say to them. We want ALL to come to the knowledge of Him so we value them way over the stuff of this world.
Finally, the last definition of moderation given is “frugality in expenses.” We don’t spend a ton of money on ourselves. We adorn ourselves with modest apparel, meaning we don’t spend a lot of money on clothes. In the chat room, a number of us are not buying any new clothes for a year because we all have more than enough. My neighbors are moving and she showed me her home right before it went on the market. Her closet was practically empty! I asked her about it and she said, “Why would I need any more clothes?” Why do women need 20 pairs of shoes, ten purses, drawers full of makeup and hair stuff? We don’t! It’s wasted money that could be used for better and eternal things.
We are to be wise with our money, our time, our appetite, and our entertainment, women. Let us strive to be known for our moderation, as the LORD has commanded us to be, and we can because He works mightily within us.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1 John 2:15-17