Reflections On The Principle Of Restraint

Proverbs 12:25 “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

Five times a week I meet with a group of men as we study different principles from the Bible and how they apply to their lives. All these men are locked behind chain linked fences and razor wire, where society has forgotten about them. Their lives are very different from each other but all have one thing in common incarceration. Incarceration to these men means leaving their children, their wives, and their careers. Every week when we meet, these men become vulnerable to each other as they reflect and respond to the principles that we study. I want to share some of their thoughts as they recently studied the principle of Restraint.

Adam recently wrote on his thoughts of restraint…
Restraint is the one principle that has affected me the most. I have become to realize I have a character defect of speaking before I think. Practicing restraint has helped me think more carefully about the words I use when in conversation with others. Words of encouragement, instead of words of criticism meant to hurt others. I will continue to think first of what I want to say before I speak.

Devis also wrote…
Restraint indicates the character idea of holding back. When you restrain or refrain from saying or doing something, its a sure sign of growth. Restraint helps us grow in our ability to analyze. Although restraining isn’t always easy, it can be done. We have to be very careful in how we use our choice of words, because our words have tremendous influence in our culture. As the proverb writer said, “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise.”

Larry wrote…
In the past I have had times that I have been quick to act and it has come back to hurt me. We have a tendency of acting on first impulse instead of thinking before we respond. Some times we need to listen and not talk. We should practice at being kind to others and forgiving one another. Restraint is only possible through much prayer and the study of God’s Word. God gave us creative ability through the use of words. We carry tremendous power in our words. James said our tongue is the rudder of our life (boat). Our words will set our course in life, therefore we must learn to tame our tongue. Controlling the tongue will reduce regret.

“It is impossible to retract words once they are spoken, but it is possible to restrain the words in our mind.”

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