Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.
Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem that lay in ruins during Israel’s Babylonian captivity. When he heard a report that the gates and walls were in ruins, he wept and called out to God for help (Nehemiah 1:5-11). King Artaxerxes granted permission for Nehemiah to return and rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.
The importance of city walls in the ancient world cannot be overstated. A wall in disrepair could be easily breached; a broken-down wall allowed enemies ready access to a city and its population. King Solomon used walls as a metaphor for a certain part of human behavior. He didn’t compare walls to love, joy, peace, or other godly traits. Instead, he said walls around cities are the equivalent of self-control in a person’s life. As walls protect a city from harm, so self-control protects people.
Think of all the harm that could have come to an ancient city whose walls were broken down. Now consider the same dangers on a personal level. Self-control, enabled by the Spirit, is part of your spiritual and moral protection (Galatians 5:22-23).
It is impossible to be a follower of Jesus without giving diligent attention in our lives to the grace of self-control.