What brings a city to its knees?
Crime? War? Pollution?
Or is it growth and prosperity?
The fishing village of Houtouwan in China was a modern, prosperous, and picturesque oceanfront town with beautiful sea views only twenty years ago. It was defeated not by crime, war, or pollution, but by China’s phenomenal growth and prosperity.
In the 1990s, residents simply up and moved away, leaving a vine-covered town where life once interacted successfully with the sea. They saw success around them and wanted more than their village had to offer. Where once there was prosperity and celebration, now lie broken walls and a crumbling infrastructure that grows worse by the year.
If we’re not careful, Houtouwan can invade our lives. Discipline and self-control are necessary to prevent the success of modern life from diverting our attention from our Christian walk.
Proverbs 25:28 gives us an eye-opening jolt of reality:
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
Does overtime on our job take precedence over time spent with our family? Do we forget to support the church when we’re traveling to our favorite vacation spots? Is getting a fancier car more important to us than making sure the church van is running well?
God wants us to enjoy our success. Yet, he desires to remind us of what we’ve been given. If our self-control falls by the wayside and we chase only the riches of prosperity, we’ll soon be spiritually empty, with broken walls and a crumbling infrastructure that grows worse by the year.
God draws us to him, and we are undefeated in Jesus Christ.
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