I’ve never been very good at getting up in the morning, and those who know me would immediately confirm that I’m not a “morning person”. When that alarm clock goes off I want to turn over and go back to sleep. But since I have bills to pay and certain duties to fulfill, I drag myself out of bed and slump into action…
My human, physical nature is more controllable than I sometimes like to think it is. I say “like” because I’m much more able to apply myself to the things I like to do, and I feel far less able to do the things I loathe and the things that are difficult. If I failed to show up for work once or twice, I’d probably lose my job. So then, I prove to myself daily that I’m able to control myself. My mind-and more specifically my will-is able to get the better of my body, and to send it off in the direction it should go.
To an extent I am unchangeable: I was born with certain character traits and tendencies. I easily become rather emotional and passionate. I’m introspective, erratic, and I tend to be self-serving. But I’ve seen a pretty big change in myself over the years. For example, I was lazy, and though I had some natural talents I really had no drive or ambition: all my achievements arrived on the backs of other people. Now I tend to drive myself to the limit all day long to make up for lost time. I never have enough time to achieve all the things I’d like to achieve (such as writing blog posts on all the ideas I have). I’ve developed the ability and the will to push myself to the extent that time and energy permit. My ambitions, goals and dreams, my awareness of responsibilities, and my general love of life, are such that my “to do” list gets longer every day.
I’m not saying that the avoidance of rest and relaxation is a virtue-it isn’t. My point is that we humans are able to control ourselves far more than we allow ourselves to admit, and far more than the social engineers of our time want us to know. According to them, we “can’t help being what we are”.
When Jesus Christ told people to “go, and sin no more”, he didn’t say it in order to get a kick out of challenging someone with an impossible task. Though he probably meant that we must change our way of life so that we don’t intentionally live daily in sin, rather than expecting us to never slip and “make a mistake” (as it’s being described in churches today), he obviously knew that we’re capable of a considerable amount of self-control. He also expected us to apply it. Our will-in submission to His-must rule our bodies and our minds.