A book I recently read is Anatomy of a Warrior by Alex Lanshe in which he delves into the virtues a warrior needs to possess to be successful as a protector. The last virtue he discussed was the virtue of temperance. Temperance is also known as moderation or self-control.
Warrior? I can hear you now – really Jamie? Don’t let the title of the book mislead you or turn you off. There is much wisdom in this book and Alex’s Christian principles come through in each chapter.
You might think the word doesn’t describe you. You may protest that you are not at war with anyone or anything. Let me ask you some questions. Do you fight inner battles with yourself? Do you battle strife at work, in your marriage, in friendships, in child-parent relationships? Do you battle addictions (food, shopping, drugs, alcohol, etc.)? What else might be taking your time and energy as you try to thwart it?
If you can answer yes to any of those, then you my friend are a warrior. One of Webster’s definitions of the term warrior is a person engaged in some struggle or conflict. Whether your opponent is seen or unseen, the battle is real, and battling something, anything, makes you a warrior.
During the battle controlling our emotions is crucial to winning. Stress during battle can cause us to make poor decisions. Have you ever yelled at your spouse or your children when angry at someone else? Have you ever ‘communicated’ when someone cut you off in traffic (you know what I’m talking about)? Or they took the parking place you had been circling for several minutes to get? Engaging someone we don’t know at the wrong place and time could lead to a physical battle you may not want – one that threatens your safety or the safety of those you love. Temperance here would be extremely important.
Lanshe says “….thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to actions….” Part of being temperate requires us to monitor and control our thoughts. When you are cut off in traffic instead of thinking you so-and-so, how about thinking that person must really need to get somewhere quickly, maybe a medical emergency or a sick child who needs to be picked up from school? When that person takes the parking place you have been so patiently waiting for instead of thinking how much you might like to give them a piece of your mind, how about praying for them and asking God to bless them?
2 Peter 1:5-8 (ESV) tells us –
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control,
and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These verses tell us that self-control is important………having temperance is important. It is a virtue of a warrior (protector).
We are a few weeks from what many of us feel is the biggest holiday in the year. It is also the holiday that can create the most stress and anxiety we may experience during the year. Family strife, financial concerns, crowded streets, busy stores, long lines, loneliness all creating thoughts that lead to feelings, which lead to actions.
What are your thoughts going to be warrior? Create your battle plan now for thoughts of love, peace and understanding.
Tend your flock well shepherdess, remembering you are a protector of those you love, and a warrior when necessary.
PS – A big thank you to Alex Lanshe who granted me permission to quote his book in this blog post. I met Alex at a recent Well Armed Woman conference where he was a guest speaker. I highly recommend you read Anatomy of a Warrior. The Kindle version is available at a great price. Anatomy of a Warrior