But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, ….. self-control; against such things there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23 ESV)
Self-control is a gracious fruit of the Spirit. It might not be one of the “popular ones” you will often hear about, but its absence in a person’s character cannot be missed, even for a second. Solomon says “ A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Prov. 25:28 ESV). What a horrible state to be in!
Self-control is really what it says, having control over yourself. It is the ability to control one’s emotions, desires, impulses, and actions. If only we had just a little bit of this grace in the world today, many marriages would not end in divorce, our jails will be almost empty,..the list continues. There is a rampage of uncontrollable passions and desires out there in the world today. This is one of the hallmarks of the flesh. It cannot be controlled. There are people who are literally ruled by how they feel and what they desire. They just cannot muster the strength to say no. It can be compared to a war prisoner far from home who would obey every single word from the captor’s mouth to preserve his or her life. God does not want us to be slaves to our desire and emotions.
The Spirit gives us self-control. Cultivate that virtue and save yourself from headaches and heartaches. It will save you from words you have spoken impulsively that will cause regret for the rest of your life. It might save your marriage or that important relationship in your life. You must be the master, not the slave, to your desires and emotions. The Spirit gives this ability. Let this grace of self-control increase in your life.
What is the difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit?
APPLY THE WORD
Who is in charge in your life–your passions, desires, impulses or you? Do not be like a city that is broken down without walls as Solomon says, which brought shame and disgrace to the inhabitants in Bible days. Lack of self-control will undoubtedly do the same in our lives if we let it. Yield to the Spirit and grow in self-control.
Ask the Lord to help you grow in this wonderful grace of self-control.