This adjective can be found in the KJV of God’s Word where the Apostle Paul wrote his second epistle to the young preacher Timothy, warning him of the “perilous times” this man of God would face (2 Timothy 3:1-9). The word “incontinent” is found in verse 3. Let’s notice two specific sources describing and defining this word.
Incontinent is from the Greek word AKRATES, and is defined by W.E. Vine as, “denotes powerless, impotent; in a moral sense, unrestrained, “without self control,” 2 Tim. 3:3, R.V.” Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word as follows: “lacking self control; not being under control.” The noun form of the word can be found in I Corinthians 7:5, where Paul speaks to the husbands and wives, “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.”
Being incontinent does not apply to simply being angry. The Bible has much to say on anger, stating that not ALL of such is sinful, no matter what some folks may argue. This can especially be seen in the book of Proverbs, along with a few of the epistles written in the New Testament. The four Gospel books even record times, though few and far between, when our own Saviour Jesus Christ showed anger. Instead, especially based on what Paul wrote to Timothy, being incontinent means to perpetually, or almost perpetually, be out of control—-overly temperamental—-hotheaded—-extremely mean and nasty—almost constantly angry—-raging—-on a daily basis. Such a disposition as this was only one of a number of things Timothy would have to face as an evangelist.
Thus, the individual who is incontinent is a lot of the time dangerous! The curse words flow ever so easily, rudeness and insults are hurled which produce hurt feelings and resentment, the exploitation of both offender and victim manifests itself on a moment’s notice, the fist flies most powerfully and often, the knife slashes easily and hard, the weapon fires from a trigger-happy finger, the objects(s) are thrown impromptu, and well, the reader no doubt grasps the scenario. Physical and verbal abuse both come into the picture, as does (at times) premature death of the victim(s). Even the one(s) who are products of incontinent behavior who survive physically, frequently suffer both physical and emotional scars as a result. Many people couldn’t control their incontinency if their very soul depended on it, let alone their life!
This particular sin is a shame and a disgrace to anybody of any age who is of an accountable mind. He/she who is incontinent will be oft impossible to correct, tend to make a scene both publicly and privately, won’t have many friends, and will (in a manner of speaking) burst open every inch of their intestines if they don’t get their way most or all of the time! Of course, the other person is at fault (and always!) in the eyes of the person guilty of being incontinent. A combination of physical and mental health will many times be the aftermath, and many have met an early grave legally, as well as on their own, due to this Satanic conduct known as being ‘incontinent.” It’s no wonder that some of those who have this bad of a behavioral problem are on some form of medication. If they can’t or won’t control themselves, they need to be on it! What’s more, professional help is usually needed, is it not? This leads us to the next point.
In order to see both sides of this situation, there are many individuals who are incontinent because of physical and verbal abuse they unfortunately experienced in the home while growing up. This is not always just the fault of one or both parents, but also when “sibling rivalry” gets out of hand. Sadly too, if even one parent is incontinent, there is always the chance that one or more of the children will turn out the same way. This is well known as being “a victim of one’s own environment.” Then, there are the persistent, agitating bullies from school and in the neighborhood who may have aided to someone’s becoming incontinent. Sexual abuse, whether inside or outside of the home, can as well be a contributing factor. These in turn will many times transfer over into one when leaving home to start a new life, then specifically when one marries and starts one’s own family. Consequently, the cycle of physical, verbal, and/or sexual abuse may continue with the innocent—-the spouse and children, in the latter of which especially can plant the seed of incontinency.
On the subject of incontinency in the home, let it be known here that we are all creatures of choice; individuals of our own thing and abilities; and thus, one reared in such a situation should do their best to “rise above their raising.” I admire those who have accomplished this, and feel a mixture of both compassion and pity for those who have not. That is to say, pity for those who don’t even try, and compassion for those who have fought to get themselves out of being incontinent, but are having great difficulty in shaking this situation. To any of you reading this who have this problem, don’t quit trying! Ever! My hat goes off to you, and my heart goes out to you. Seek God’s help on this, and pray, pray, pray! Never, ever give in to Satan!
Losing control of self happens to the very best of people, even if merely once in a great while. It all comes with being human. Everybody has that “breaking point,” to be sure. The reader and this writer are no different, and no one need pretend otherwise. God Himself showed anger more than just a few times at the Israelite nation, due to their constant problem of going into idolatry in generation after generation after generation, as so much of the Old Testament records.
However, if one’s temper is not kept in check as much as possible, incontinency results. Too, some people are so incontinent, it’s enough to drive anybody to the point of anger and disgust with them—-and I say without the least reservation, anybody! If the incontinent person so much as thinks—-or even imagines—-that someone is raising their voice at them, even if this raising is just slightly, and this raising of the voice may be even justifiably so, whether slightly or greatly, watch how suddenly that seemingly meek, little “lamb” becomes a Bengal tiger! But of course, that incontinent person can do as he/she pleases in their treatment of others! Oh yes!
Along with far out of control anger, the sins of unbridled sexual desire, unnatural sexual desire, all forms of moral looseness, and apostasy, are also fruits of being incontinent. This means that lusts and certain temperamental “hang-ups” are present as well. The two sexual problems just mentioned were ever so present and evident with; (1) King David when committing adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), (2) The incestuous rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13: 1-19), and (3) When Cain’s killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-8). Being incontinent just isn’t normal or worth it, is it?
Let’s notice a number of verses from King Solomon’s pen where the subject of excessive anger is concerned: Proverbs 14:17 says, ‘He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.” Chapter 15:1: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Verse 18: “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Chapter 16:32: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Chapter 19:11: “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” Chapter 21:19: “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.” Verse 23: “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” Chapter 22:24: “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.” Chapter 27:15: “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Chapter 29:22: “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.” Solomon also declared in Ecclesiastes 7: 9,” Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Be incontinent, especially in much day to day living,, and you will make many enemies, along with looking the fool in the form of a statue the size of the Washington Monument!
Next, we note what the beloved Kind David wrote about constant and uncontrolled anger: Psalm 37:8 says, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Living incontinent does nothing for body, soul,, or spirit. How about for any of our fellowman, too? It’s a lose-lose situation, no matter how you examine it!
Where the Christian is concerned, Paul wrote to the brethren at Ephesus, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). Concerning one of the qualifications of an elder, he told the young preacher Titus, “not soon angry” (Titus 1:7). Because a person may feel that he/she has a perfectly scriptural right to be angry at an individual or situation, having taken all that one can possibly take, still, that doesn’t give anyone the right to use profanity, rail, insult, be rude, throw things, threaten someone(s) with death or bodily injury, shoot, stab, or hit somebody! Some commit arson, slander, gossip, unlawfully sue, and pull other dirty tricks, due to their incontinency. I speak not of an unavoidable case of self-defense. I speak of “throwing the first punch.” I speak of starting a fight or an argument “at the drop of a hat.” For the church member who falls under this category of being incontinent, it’s that age-old adage of “losing your religion.” The way some incontinent people carry on, you’re lucky if you get one plug sentence out in trying to correct, calm down, reason, teach, state your case, or explain anything to them in full. More times than not, you will be interrupted; cut off; forbidden to say another word, unless you know what’s good for you! Completely perish the thought that you will be treated just and fairly by someone who is often or always incontinent!
Prisons and jails are full, (ever hear of “contempt of court” and “a hostile witness?”) many homes broken, untold number of marriages dissolved, businesses and business partnerships ceased, friendships parted, siblings estranged, and churches divided, some churches have ceased to be—-even if farther on down the road, due to one or more persons having behaved in some form of an incontinent way. There have even been brethren to curse and threaten non-Christians other brethren, along with threatening to call the civil authorities and/or threaten lawsuits, if so much as one question of disagreement is heard in their ears about the way they believe, practice, preach, and teach. Then there is that incontinent person in a church business meeting! (WHEW!) How sad and pitiful! This is Christianity? This is how Jesus would do? This is how He acted?
Needless to say, incontinency won’t make for anybody a home in Heaven. This sin is yet another means used by the Devil and his cohorts—-with always some type of “justification” (?) given for someone’s incontinency. I beg of you, gentle reader, to not live in an incontinent way. To do so means to suffer, both in this life and eternally. May we all strive to avoid this awful sin, like we would the wildest and meanest beast.