Fruit Of The Spirit: Self-Control

Self control word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Today I will be looking at the last fruit of the Spirit–self-control. Thank you, if you have been following this little bible study on the fruit of the Spirit. If you have not been following and just joined, you can find the other studies here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.

This final fruit of the Spirit is the culmination of all of the rest. Without the rest of the fruits, one cannot have this last one. It is one that many people do not really want to talk about or think that they already have it, though most people struggle in this area. Self-control is being able to control one’s own thoughts and actions. It is taking responsibility for yourself.

Self-control is often looked at in the areas of exercising and dieting. Very few people exercise good self-control in these areas and will admit it. However, self-control needs to be exercised in many other areas of life.

Hole in wall

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Solomon points out the value of self-control, or rather the destruction of the lack of self-control. In his time cities had a wall surrounding the city to protect it from the enemy. If there was a hole in the wall, their protection was gone. The wall was then worthless and the city could be overrun.

In the same way, a person who does not have self-control in his life has a hole broken through. Not having self-control allows the enemy to enter into your life. It gives the devil a foothold into your life, causing you to breakdown and choose to sin, rather than flee the sin.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

One are that many people lack self-control in is with their speaking and listening. Many are slow to listen and very quick to get angry. They are quick to strike back with words, cursing someone, when something does not go their way, rather than trying to understand and listen.

Angry person

In order to follow what James is telling us to do, we must have self-control. You have to make a choice to listen. You have to make a choice to be slow to speak and not become angry so quickly. This takes practice over time, because it goes against the human nature.

Immediately many people will rise up now and say that they cannot do this. It is in their nature to sin, that they have no self-control. This is true, if they are relying upon their own strength and abilities. Man does not have any self-control in himself. However, it does not have to stay that way.

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

Titus tells us that God’s grace teaches us to say ‘No’ to sin and to live a godly, upright life that is self-controlled. We have the perfect teacher–God’s Holy Spirit.

Blocking hand

However, just like children in school, we often do not want to learn. Some will say that they cannot do it, it is not in their nature or some other excuse. This is true if you say that, but it does not have to remain true. You can change.

Remember that in Christ you are a new creation, a new person. You have the ability to say ‘No’ to sin and run away from all temptation. However, to do this, you must be in control of yourself. You have to conscientiously choose to not sin or walk into sin.

In your own strength and power this is difficult, even impossible to do. You cannot live a self-controlled, sinless life without God’s help and power.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Another version says that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. God is there to give you all the strength you need to do what needs to be done. This is not just physically doing things, but also strength to do the not doing things, to turn away from sin.

Pushing a bolder

In yourself, you cannot stay away from sin, but in Christ you have that ability. There is no reason for you to continue in sin. Christ has made you a new creation. All you have to do is live as the new creation, live as Jesus lived. Every time temptation pops its head up to cause you to sin, turn to God for strength and a way out of that temptation. Refuse to sin. Allow His Holy Spirit to guide you in the right path.

But all of this is a choice you have to make. It does not come automatically. It is not built into you. You have to be self-controlled. The great news is that with God’s Holy Spirit you can have that self-control to make the right choices every time.

Two choices

Give your life over to God and allow Him to be in control. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you live a godly life here on this earth. As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will have to bear some fruit.

God does not want you to fail, so He has given you everything you need to be successful in walking a holy, righteous, sinless life. You must now make the choice to accept it and live in it.

As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will show His love, which will lead to joy bringing about peace, which leads to forbearance/patience, bringing on kindness and goodness, which will make you faithful and gentle. Once all of these fruits are in place, you will have self-control to keep in them and in God’s will.

Be the man or woman God has called you to be in Christ Jesus. Do not conform to the ways of this world any longer and remain in sin.

This finishes looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will bring this study to a finish with an overview of all that we have studied and what it means to you as a believer. Please feel free to comment and/or share this post with anyone you think that could use it.

Psalm 105:4 Finding Strength

Dumbells training

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4 

All across the nation are gyms for men and women work out in. People flock to the gyms in order to build themselves up. They want to strengthen their bodies to be in better health and to look better.

While working out and strengthening the body does a lot of good for a person, it does not help his spirit, nor the long term side of emotions. Exercise does not give a person the strength needed to keep going forward correctly when things are going rough, when trouble hits hard.

During troubling times most people look to many things to give them strength to keep going. They will seek work, friends, drugs, or other distractions to help them survive. Some will end it all in a loss of all hope.

The writer of this psalm says that one needs to look to God’s strength and seek Him.

God is the One who has created everything that there is. He is the One who holds everything that is together. He is the One who controls the storms in the physical world and can control the storms in a person’s life.

Along with having the strength and power to help, God is always there and available. The believer can seek God twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year, with no fear that God will be busy or not available. There is nothing so big, that God cannot handle it or bring a person through it.

The things that the world looks at for strength are temporary and are not always available as God is available. The things of this world will fail in the end. God will never fail.

During your life, you will  have times of struggle and need strength. Turn your eyes to God and seek Him and His strength to make it.

As you focus on God, you will begin to rest in His arms of strength. You will feel His power surge through your body giving you the ability to keep going forward despite the fight against you.

You will also have His peace and comfort during the difficult time knowing that He is in control and will bring you through to the end of the challenge.

Don’t ever give in or give up to a struggle, but hold on to God. His strength has never failed and never will.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the power and strength God has for you; that you will trust God’s strength in your life; and tha you will seek God in all things.

1 Timothy 4:8 Valuable Training

 

Exercising man

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

Physical training is usually seen as high value. Doctors are always telling their patients that they need to get out and be physical, to do physical training–exercise. Traveling throughout many cities one will see many different gyms for working out in. Exercise is seen as something of great value.

While many people exercise to help themselves look good, there are also many who exercise to stay in good health. Exercising will help keep a person’s heart and lungs stronger, which in turn keeps their overall health much better. It will increase the likelihood of the person living a longer, healthier life.

Yet, exercise will stop there. Every person will die at some point. No matter how much physical exercise a person gets, they will die. In eternity, exercise means nothing. So it does have some value, but not a lot.

Training to be like Jesus and to be Godly has a lot higher value. In this life it can bring joy and peace where there is none. It removes all anxiety and fear. It helps build better relationships with people. It destroys selfishness and hatred.

When anxiety, fear, hatred are removed, a person will live a healthier life. Many illnesses come from fear, hatred and anxiety.

Not only does living like God help in this life, it also benefits a person after death. Following Jesus means one is striving to live like Jesus did–a Godly life. In return Jesus gives the person eternal life in heaven. This benefit never ends and gives perfect life and health with God. It removes all sickness and pain for eternity.

While it is good for you to exercise to build your physical self up and stay in good shape, it is only for a temporary value. Training to be like God will benefit you in this life and for all eternity.

Training to be like God is to live your life just as Jesus did. Acting, speaking, reacting, and listening just as Jesus did. This not only builds you up, but will also help build others up and make this world a little bit better. Then in the end when you step into eternity, the benefits will magnify increasingly for all eternity.

What are you training for today?

I pray today that you will train to be like Jesus; that God will show you how to act and speak as Jesus did; that your life will be on full of Godliness; and that you will se the benefit of living a Godly life for God.