Self Control is Important

Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins. (Donald Grey Barn … More

Self Control

It seems that the writer is making a comparison with the apples of gold in a framework of silver (a beautiful work of sculpture) to words of wisdom spoken at a proper time (v. 11). Then he goes on to say that the kindly rebuke of a wise man is of greater value than costly presents (v. 12). In ancient times, snow was used in Palestine very much as ice is by us today. They would store up snow in the cliffs of the mountains to cool their drinks in the heat of the summer harvest time. A trustworthy messenger brings the same kind of refreshment to the person who sends him (v. 13). This is why it is so important that when we promise to do something we do it. When clouds are seen in the sky, in a period of drought, men hope for showers and are disappointed (v. 14). Jude uses  this same illustration when he refers to those who profess to be gifted teachers of the Word of God, but in reality have nothing to offer.

Self control is important (vv. 15-17). Many things like honey are good in moderation but when taken in excess they may be harmful. An example is, too much time spent in the home of a friendly neighbor may turn that friend into an enemy  (v. 17). It is easy to wear out one’s welcome. Overdoing anything can be a problem. Giving false testimony in court against a neighbor can crush a relationship (v. 18). A bad tooth and a lame foot can be problems, especially because a person relies on them to eat and walk. Also relying on a person who turns out to be untrustworthy can be disappointing and troublesome (v. 19). It seems unthinkable that anyone would be so cruel as to take a man’s coat from him in the winters’ cold. However, the same comparison is made to a person trying to sing songs to a person who is depressed (v. 20). The sad and  grief stricken prefer loving sympathy and not a sermon, even in the form of a song.


The apostle Paul said, “The things that I don’t want to do seem to be the things I end up doing and the things I want to do are not the things I find myself doing. This is not the pattern I want to have in my life so I pray that with the Lord’s help I will be able to exercise self control.

Proverbs 25:11-20 (English Standard Version)

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters. Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone. If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you. A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips. Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.

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