Joe R. Price

Charlie was a good friend, but the man just couldn’t take it any more. Charlie’s unending shrieking and constant screeching was driving him crazy. The man, frustrated that his girlfriend had left him, now took matters into his own hands. He punched Charlie. But the problem was not solved. Now, Charlie was dead. In one day the man had lost his girlfriend and his pet parrot!

Reuters reported Thursday the man was fined $925 in a Berlin, Germany court for killing the African gray parrot he had owned for 11 years. It is ridiculous, but it reminds us of the value of self-control. If the man had used some he wouldn’t be out $925, and Charlie would still be alive. We have more valuable reasons to use self-control than that. We must exercise control over our emotions and will because we seek an eternal inheritance (1 Cor. 9:24-25). Those who belong to Christ and walk by the Spirit bear the fruit of self-control, thus showing they have “crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:22-24, 16).

Furthermore, a Christian who cannot control his anger is a poor example to others. His influence is diminished every time he loses control of his temper. His sin harms himself, and others (Eph. 4:31; Matt. 5:16). The next time you think you are about to lose control, remember Charlie. He didn’t deserve to die. And afterward, the man was sorry for what he had done. Losing your temper is that way, too. The object of your wrath rarely deserves it, and after you “cool off” you usually know how wrong it was.

Get control of yourself. If you don’t, Christ assures you the “fine” you will pay will be eternal (Mk. 9:42-50).