Would you like to know more about the Fruit of the Spirit and how it can apply to your life? Do you desire to understand the biblical importance of this fruit? Then join us below as we answer these and other questions and learn about the Fruit of the Spirit that is self-control!
The Fruit of the Spirit:
In Galatians 5:22-23 we find a list of nine attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit which are developed within us as we live according to the Holy Spirit—living in alignment with God’s will and character. These are:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22-23
Yet, what do these mean for our lives, and what does the Word say about them?
The Fruit of the Spirit, Self-Control
The ninth and final mentioned attribute of the Spirit’s fruit listed in Galatians 5 is self-control. Interestingly, the word “self-control” is only found eight times in the New King James version of the Word, and only in the New Testament. Thus, making it in many ways the most unique attribute of the Spirit’s fruit listed here, but by no means lacking in importance.
In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-control is described as, “restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires.” It is, in essence, being as God created us to be, made in His image—for God, while having emotions, is not controlled by them.
“God has emotions but is not controlled by them.”—Curt Landry
Yet, why is this particular “fruit” of the Spirit important for Believers?
Well, there is no single answer to this question, as the importance of self-control is found in all aspects of life. However, the main key is that it allows us to walk in alignment with God. This is because, if we do not implement self-control when tempted by our flesh or by the enemy himself, then we stumble, fall, or wander off the straight and narrow path God has laid before us.
Self-control is a tool which, while not removing our emotions or desires, allows us to step back, seek God and say, “Okay… You see the situation before me—the choices and my own emotions and desires—but what do YOU want me to do? What is the way I should go?” And, after asking, it allows us the ability to wait with patience for the answer—trusting that God’s answer will be the best for us, even if not in line with our will, emotions, or desires.
Further, self-control gives us the ability to not act rashly. In moments of anger it allows us to take a deep breath—thinking and seeking God before any words or actions. In moments of temptation it allows us to weigh not only the cost to our earthly life, but to our eternal life—to God’s very Kingdom, His people, and His emotions. It allows us to seek God to decide if our desire is of Him or the flesh.
On and on, self-control provides us with TIME. Not necessarily more time on earth—though there are situations where it could—but time to take stock, seek God, and to therefore not waste time going down a wrong path. It allows us to do Kingdom good, bringing the best to God’s people… Heaven coming to earth.
It allows God to take charge.
Walk in Self-Control
So, we know more about the importance of self-control, but how do we walk in it? How can we, mere flesh and blood beings, stick to the straight and narrow path of God by utilizing the Spirit’s character of self-control?
Well, as with all the Spirit’s fruit working in our lives, we can develop self-control best by seeking the Holy Spirit. Spending time with Him, listening to Him, and interacting with Him.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”—John 14:26
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”—1 Corinthians 6:19
When we accept God in Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we gain access to the character of His Spirit. Yet, just as when we were young, learning to crawl, then walk, then run, it takes practice.
When we first seek the Holy Spirit and His fruit, we are essentially infants learning to crawl in Him—imitating, as it were, His character—discovering His nature becoming fruitful in us.
We might fall flat on our faces the first time we attempt to implement self-control in our lives, but the key is to get back up. Trying again and again. Knowing that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist. Lifting ourselves up to try again, no matter how many times we fall!
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”—1 Corinthians 10:13
Soon enough we will discover that the things which once appeared too large to escape, too set to overcome, are suddenly easier to resist. As we strengthen our muscle of self-control and become quicker and more skilled in using it, we find we are able to walk in it consistently, until at last, we are able to even run in it when the need arises.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”—Ephesians 5:1-2
We can run with the chariots and not be led by things outside of God. We can rise up and see the light of God above the storm, resisting the wind and the waves as our eyes are fixed on God. We can walk in the Spirit’s fruit of self-control!
Would you like to learn more about self-control? Then click HERE to discover the benefits of walking in self-control!
Would you like to give of the favor you have found by walking in self-control? Then click HERE to discover how!
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Would you like to discover your Godly strengths? Then click HERE to find what God has put within you!
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”—2 Peter 1:5-9