Fruit of the Spirit-Self Control
SelfControl- Titus 2:11-12 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.
The last of our list of the fruits of the spirit, is self-control. Of course our prime example of self control is Jesus. Each time Satan tried to get Jesus to do something, turn stones to bread, cast himself down from the temple, or fall at Satan’s feet, He came back at him with scripture. Jesus had to rely on His knowledge of the scriptures of His Father to get him through, and it did!
Jesus once said to his disciples, ‘you do err, because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God! Mark 12:24… Let that be a lesson for today’s disciples!
Author April Gilbert, said, ‘self-control allows us to say no to ourselves when everything in us wants to say yes. Self-control keeps us from trading what we want most for what we want now. Self-control allows us to make the hard decisions during the hard times of life, so we don’t do something now that we’ll regret later.’
Of course, there’s an obvious downside, to a lack of self-control. Proverbs 25:28 warns us, ‘like a conquered city with no walls, so is a man who has no self-control.
Every person needs healthy boundaries, for their sake and for others sake. We need to rely on Christ within us, ‘the hope of Glory’ for strength to say ‘no’ to temptation.
A lack of self-control can be ‘catching;’ you can inspire others in the wrong direction. A ‘transfer of Spirits’ can release instability and even demonic spirits into the atmosphere. We have so much potential impact as ‘offspring of the most high God,' but the bottom line is, without Holy Spirit, we are vulnerable to all the forces around us.
When unbelievers say they can’t control themselves, ultimately, they cannot – for they have no power to do so. But Paul reminds us that grace not only brings salvation but also trains us to live self-controlled lives (2Tim. 2:11). God has given Christians a spirit of self-control (2Tim. 1:7). This means the ability to control oneself comes from the Spirit by which we now live and in which we now walk (Gal.5:25).
The Apostle Peter agrees, reminding us it is God’s divine power which has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, and he calls us to make every effort to live self-controlled lives (2 Pet.1:3-6)
I was at a church event and we were having lunch, and I was talking to a 3rd grade girl, and offered her a cookie. She said, ‘No, I have already had my treat!’ Whoa! This little gal had learned self-control at an early age…I know people in their 70’s who never say no to a treat!
Of course, like every fruit of the spirit, self-control must be learned, or we could say ‘exercised,’ in order to be part of our witness or dna. Rick Renner points out that a person with self-control, or temperance, has power over his appetites, physical urges, passions, and desires.
May we continue to walk in all the fruits of the spirit, for the sake of Christ, who said no to the devil, in order to destroy all his works, (1 John 3:8) and yes to His Father in order to bring us into the Kingdom. Hallelujah!