Sunday, August 30, 2009


I have always thought of incontinence as the inability to control one's bladder. This is the only manner in which I've heard the word used. But it has come to my attention through the King James Version of the Bible and subsequent research that the definition covers other realms of behavior as well.

1 Corinthians 7:5
    Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. ~KJV

    Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. ~NIV

The same word or words are translated "incontinency" and "lack of self-control".
The definitions I find for incontinent include:

    in⋅con⋅ti⋅nent  [in-kon-tn-uhnt]
    1. unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuations of urine or feces.
    2. unable to contain or retain (usually fol. by of): incontinent of temper.
    3. lacking in moderation or self-control, esp. of sexual desire.
    4. unceasing or unrestrained: an incontinent flow of talk.

And the following from a medical dictionary:

    Main Entry: in·con·ti·nence
    Function: noun
    1 : inability or failureto restrain sexual appetite
    2 : inability of the body to control the evacuative functions

Also very interesting are the related words that are given:

    Related Words for : incontinence
    incontinency, dissoluteness, self-gratification

Clearly, there is an aspect of incontinence that relates to sexual desire and the inability, or unwillingness, to control that desire.
Now, you have encountered puppies that urinate on themselves (or on you) because they get so excited. We could consider those puppies to be incontinent. Don't forget that they will also hump your leg with no provocation.

Given these things to consider, it seems entirely reasonable for us to conclude that temptations to lust or sloth or gluttony or any other activity of over-indulgent self-gratification are temptations to behave like pitiful little puppies who can't help peeing on ourselves.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Power of Jesus

Can you save your own life? Is there any potential circumstance in this world from which your abilities are insufficient for protecting yourself? Of course, there are. You and I are imperfect and less than expert at so many skills that might be relevant in a given situation wherein our lives might be in danger.

But, can you imagine a hypothetical individual who is supremely adept physically, athletically, intellectually, emotionally, and academically? What if there were someone who had all the knowledge and all the skills and all the physical abilities that are possible for any human being to have? Would he always be able to save his own life? Well.. the answer has to be "no". But, here's why. While such a person might successfully face every challenge the world can throw at him, there is still Jesus. Such an individual might land safely from a leap from an airplane without a parachute. He might be able to instantly calculate the speed and trajectory of a bullet and apply his strength and dexterity with perfect precision in order to avoid being touched by said bullet. He may "McGuyver" his way out of any number of technically challenging situations. Such a person would be capable of avoiding every danger there is in this world.

But such a person would still be a human being. That is, he would remain less than God. Not only so, but all of his skills, abilities, and mental faculties were given and are maintained by Jesus. It is only by the will of Jesus that such a person (as well as you and I) continues to exist. Jesus holds together this person's body parts, the cells, the molecules, the atoms, even the subatomic particles. Such a powerful and capable person would cease to exist at the merest thought of Jesus. At the slightest whim of Jesus, such a person would never have existed. There would be no written record or memory of him because there would be nothing to record or remember. All the history of his own life and the lives and events he impacted would be changed, not because of his departure, but because he never arrived! That is the truly awesome power of Jesus.

    Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. ~Matthew 28:18

    And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. ~Colossians 1:10-12