He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28 KJV)
Solomon says anyone with no rule or control over their spirit is like a city broken down without walls. In Biblical times, a broken-down city without walls was disgraceful and vulnerable. So, a lack of control over our spirit is an open invitation to disgrace and attacks. Therefore, it is in our self-interest to control our spirits.
What does Solomon mean by ruling over our spirit? The New English Translation (NET) version is self-explanatory:
“Like a city that is broken down and without a wall, so is a person who cannot control his temper.” (Proverbs 25:28 NET)
Ruling over our spirit in this verse is controlling our temper. Since temper, just like anger, is an emotion, Solomon implies we control our spirit by controlling our emotions. Otherwise stated, we control our spirit man by controlling our soul. I have taught this fascinating truth before that the human spirit functions and operates through and in the soul. Although we do not directly access or “feel” our spirit, we control its state and activity through the faculties of the soul—our emotions, thoughts, and desires.
If we fail to rule over our spirits, the consequences are inescapable. First, Solomon begins by stating that “anger exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29). It not only makes us do foolish things but also compels us to exalt or magnify foolishness in our lives! How often have you done things through anger or other emotion only to regret it later? Quick temper has made people destroy precious relationships, ruin careers, lose money, mar destinies, miss their marriage partners, etc. So, a short temper or uncontrollable anger in us is like wildfire—it will burn down our own house!
Although quick temper is the focus here, we should remember this truth is almost universal about our emotions. Failure to control ourselves or our feelings is begging for our emotions to control us. Besides, whenever our emotions are in the driver’s seat, we can be sure they will drive us into the trench.
In conclusion, the Lord wants us to control our own spirit. As I have taught repeatedly, His command is not for us to eradicate our emotions or become “emotion-less” spirits. No! Instead, He wants us to redeem our feelings by the power of His Spirit. So, He commands us to grow in self-control, a fruit of the result of the Spirit controlling our spirit. And controlling our spirit—controlling what it can or cannot do—requires the ability of the Holy Spirit to empower us to subdue the flesh and its ugly passions.
When was the last time an emotion such as anger also made you do a stupid thing?
Apply the Word
When I got married, the Lord told me if I do not die, something else would die in my life. I immediately knew what He meant: I had to die to myself if my marriage would live and thrive. Brethren, if we do not die to self by controlling the power of strong emotions that sometimes erupt in our hearts like volcanoes, we will ruin precious things we treasure in our lives. Before you control the devil, do your best to control yourself. Rule over your own spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ask the Father to help you rule over your spirit.