Updated 18 December 2017

'Practise self-control this festive season'

Pastor Sakhiwo Rala tells us how to stay responsible this festive season.

One of the phrases trending on social media this season is “#KeDezemberBoss (anything goes)”.

The hashtag suggests the December holidays have started and subsequently the commencement of the festive season.

A key characteristic of this season is the excessive spending on luxuries and entertainment. This is because, for most people, it’s the one time family and friends unite after a long, hard year of school and work.

While this spending is justifiable to some extent, its downside is that many God-loving people behave very differently at this time, and their only excuse is “#KeDezemberBoss”.

They also end up broke in January, exposing themselves to unscrupulous moneylenders and starting the vicious cycle of debt.

Self-control test

One of the important fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control. Self-control, among other things, suggests the ability to self-govern, self-discipline and exercise restraint.

If there’s a test that God loving people must pass this festive season, it’s to control their appetites.

Many will be tempted to cast off all restraint, but will have to choose to stand their ground.

James 5:12 says: “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Otherwise you will be condemned.”

Losing control

According to Proverbs 25:28: “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”

People without self-control are vulnerable and easily influenced. They fall for everything and stand for nothing. When all is said and done, they’re the unhappiest and most unfulfilled people because all they do is please everyone but themselves.

Whatever you do this holiday, do not lose self-control. It’s your defence against hurt and regret.

Be generous and responsible

Proverbs 19:6 says: “Many seek favour with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.” People will love you for your generosity, but it’s important to understand that there’s a thin line between generosity and irresponsibility."

As you exercise generosity, be mindful of the fact that many parasitic friends and family will draw close to you to prey on your kindness and will not leave your side until you run empty.

That’s why it’s important to be circumspect and keep enough reserves for January and the coming months.

It's not stinginess

There’s no better way to enjoy fellowship with your loved ones than over a meal.

This is the time when family and friends reconnect and catch up with each other and what’s been happening in their lives.

However, in Proverbs 23:6-7 it says: “Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, or desire his delicacies; for as he thinks within himself, so he is.

"He says to you, ‘Eat and drink!’, but his heart is not with you.”

Image credit: iStock