Fruit of the Spirit; Self-Control – Part 10
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
In almost every listing of the attributes that we as Christians need to develop, self-control is mentioned. Paul lists the need for self-control eight times in his epistles. Every time the virtue was mentioned it was to encourage the Christian to live a better, more Christ-like life, but he never mentions why it is so important. That is found in the Old Testament. “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) and “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28) The impression that Solomon gives is that self-control is linked closely to patience, peace and wholeness. Why patience? Because without patience, self-control is impossible. Self-control is a virtue that needs to be nourished, encouraged and practiced, but that takes time, it takes patience.
Self-control is the opposite of being self-centered. It is being able to have domination over anger, greed, jealousy, lust and the ubiquitous other self-centered behaviors that can easily win sway over our personalities. By working on self-control and encouraging it, we again imitate God because when the Lord spoke the universe into being, he gave it order and peace. Self-control blesses us with the same benefits, order and peace. “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” (Titus 2:11-12) So how is your control of self? Growing? Stagnant? Non-existent?
Dear Lord, please fill me with Your Spirit. Nourish my Self-Control and allow me to become more Christ-like. Amen