Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. Proverbs 25:28 (KJV)
Can you imagine an ancient city with its walls broken down…a city without walls? Although our cities today do not necessarily have visible walls, they still have boundary lines. When traveling, you are aware when you cross the state line, and then again, when you enter the city limits of a town.
Signs are posted to let you know where you are.
Countries also have boundaries that are delineated on the globe. And when we cross over into another country, it is prudent to know and abide by the laws of that particular locale.
In the United States, we have recently seen what happens when a country is “broken down and without walls”. It is less safe. Its residents are less protected and more exposed to both known and unknown risks. They become boundaryless.
Proverbs 25 compares a man lacking self-control to a city whose walls are broken down.
When we live in an undisciplined way, we are less protected and more exposed to both known and unknown risks. We become boundaryless.
Proverbs gives examples of some of these risks—overeating that risks our health, an unbridled tongue that risks our relationships, pride that risks being brought to shame, and giving place to unrighteousness which puts us at risk to sin.
As boundaries protect cities and countries, self-discipline protects us. It is a God-given principle, meant to help us rather than to deprive us of what we unwittingly think will bring us happiness in the moment.
It is easy to follow cultural cues and live an undisciplined life, but as Christians, we have a higher standard—the example of Christ.
May God strengthen each of us as we endeavor to create healthy boundaries in our lives through our daily choices and the practice of self-control.