“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Gal 5:22-23
God’s idea for the world includes having everyone demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
So where does self-control come in? Everywhere.
It takes Self-Control to:
- show true godly love instead of lust and infatuation—to love others not as the world loves, but as Christ loved us. (Ephesians 5:2)
- have godly joy when we are facing a difficult situation in life. (James 1:2)
- get along with others and make peace instead of constantly getting into conflict. (Matthew 5:9)
- patiently bear with others rather than quickly condemning them. (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
- kindly look out for other people rather than yourself. (Philippians 2:4)
- do good. (Matthew 5:16)
- be faithful and not have our faith shattered by the mocking of scoffers. (2 Peter 3:3-4).
- be a gentle servant of the Lord showing compassion and mercy with real love as God does with us. (Philippians 4:5)
As with all the fruit of the Spirit, Jesus Christ is the only perfect example to follow in demonstrating self-control. Without His self-control, we would all still be under the death penalty for our sins. We look to His experiences and actions as a human being and then try to model our lives after Him.
Jesus Christ’s time as a human being defines self-control. In order to pay the penalty for our sins, He had to live a sinless life. This required constant self-control with the help of God. Even in the face of blatant temptation by the devil, who offered Him the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, Jesus Christ remained in control (Luke 4:1-13). The devil also tricked Eve into eating the fruit (Genesis 3), and he will also try to trick you. You have to stay strong to make the right choice, even when it is not the easy choice. That is having self-control!
As mentioned in the first article in this series, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is how Christians show God’s character and good news in their thoughts and actions.
We are to be walking billboards for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. May we all grow in demonstrating and living by the fruit of the Spirit!