top of page

A City Without a Wall

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (Proverbs 25:28). In ancient times, cities were often fortified and surrounded by walls. These were designed to keep the people inside the city safe by keeping out the people who might have bad intent. It allowed for the leaders and protectors of the city to regulate the flow of traffic into and out of town. It also made it more difficult for invaders and armies to sack the city. A city dweller in ancient times would have understood this proverb at first glance because they would have been well acquainted with the dangers that lurked beyond their cities walls. When an enemy breached a city’s walls, the intent was often to kill everyone in the city, replace them with its own people, and then use the city for its own purposes.

A person without self-control is like a city without walls, because anything can come into that person’s heart or mind and grow there. But a man or woman can’t realistically build a physical wall to surround their hearts and minds, so they must rely on something called discipline. Discipline, is a form of self-control that is forged from training one’s self to have a specific character or pattern of behavior that maximizes a desired result. For the Christian, that desired result is holiness, or to be sacred and set apart from the sinfulness of the world. Holiness is to be like Jesus. When a Christian is well disciplined it essentially means that he or she has trained his or her mind, body, and heart to adopt a pattern of rejecting sin and darkness, and to resist temptation. When a person has mastered this kind of discipline, it is harder for evil things to come into his mind and heart, kill any goodness there, and then use his body for dark purposes.

So how do we do that? Well James tells us that when we are tempted, it is always because of our desires (James 1:14-15). When we give in to temptation, it is because we are pursuing something we want. If we want to guard against temptation to evil, we must change our desires. We cannot be tempted to do something for which we do not have a desire. This is why Paul calls on us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we don’t conform to the world (Romans 12:1-2), and why he reinforces that idea by urging us to focus our minds on the things of God rather than the things of the world so that our hearts can be set on good rather than corruption (Colossians 3:1-2).

So build a wall around yourself by training your mind toward the good, so that you can’t be tempted toward allowing evil into your heart.

39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page