Saturday, 30 July 2011

Moderation in all Things

This is an idea that I often struggle to understand and hold onto "in the proper sense". Over the more recent years as I ponder this concept of moderation in all things, I find that I am unable to find that narrow place, and that I trust that it is completely in Jesus's hands, not mine, to do and perform. To some people that seems like a cop out, but truly it is a confession, and stated truly with absolutely no hypocrisy, falling on the mercy of Jesus.

However this is one of those sayings that many of us think is in the Bible, but in fact it is not.

From the Blue Letter Bible:

Though there is no direct quotation matching the proverb, Paul does use a similar idea in his description of the successful athlete:
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:25).
While Paul could be making reference to an Aristotalean sort of ethic of moderation here, it is more likely that the phrase translated here as "temperate in all things" should be better rendered as "wholly self-controlled" or "entirely self-disciplined." Several alternative translations favour this reading of the text. Thayer's Greek Lexicon notes that Paul is presenting the figure of an athlete who trains himself, taking charge of his body, abstaining from "unwholesome foods, wine, and sexual indulgence" that he might perform at the peak of his potential prowess.


  1. Hi Susan, these concepts escape me. How to be temperate? Things seem to come in waves, bunches, seasons of one thing then the other. My handling of things tends to go to overkill, hence my favorite popular song, Men at Work's "Overkill":)

    Sometimes I just have to abandon or break off from a project because I notice how out of balance it's getting! I guess my transmission is very sluggish in changing gears. I forget the big picture, have to back off goals while looking at what's really needed.

    Martha syndrome? To be like Mary, and sit at Jesus' feet listening, that's the thought that comes into my mind then.:)

  2. musemater,

    I was JUST listening to a great podcast that I have listened to several times about vitamins and vaccines and such. Liam Scheff opens this particular show with that song "Overkill". ..funny.

  3. I'm going to reveal my complete ignorance, I thought Sting sang that song! 8-O


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