A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28 ESV)
Horses have very little self-control. They are ruled by their instincts for survival. Fear ignites a very strong reaction in horses, but their survival instinct also triggers a form of selfishness. They will fight each other for food and water, especially if they feel it might be scarce, or if they are the least bit hungry. Greed causes them to eat well beyond full if allowed. When in training, they learn to bypass their natural reactions. The horse can learn to hold back their fight or flight instinct, even when afraid, because they trust their trainer. Even patience at the feed trough can be learned. When the trainer stands between two horses who would normally fight over their position at the feed trough, they will respect the trainer’s position and suppress the urge to bicker.
Likewise, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Only by leaning upon the strength of our God can we restrain what our bodies believe are natural instincts. What we feel like doing may not necessarily be what’s best for us. God knows this, and only by trusting Him in every situation can we learn to overcome our urges. If we trust God, we can conquer our fear; we may still be afraid, but able to act in spite of it. If we remember God’s position, we can withstand the need to bicker or fight with our siblings, neighbors, or co-workers. And when we believe God will provide for our every need, we can stop ourselves from over-indulging in any situation.
Howdy all! I visit each Sunday with a horse-related devotional for you to read and reflect upon. This is Day 20 of my devotional for horse lovers, Faith in Training. Hope you enjoy learning about how our relationship with horses can help us learn more about our relationship with God as well. Thanks for reading! ~ P. Creeden