"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (NIV) Galatians 5:22-23
The spiritual behavior of walking by the Spirit as Paul mentioned in Gal. 5:16 has the effect of causing the believer to put away the habitual, ongoing evil deeds of the flesh and positively causes a believer to bear the fruit produced by the Spirit. Jesus said, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me…. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:1-6). The fruit for us to consider today is the last one in this list, Self-Control.
Self-controlled person refers to one who masters his desires and passion, especially his sensual appetites. Self-control is very much an important part of maturity. We see daily in the news how the lack of self-control, because of man’s various inner cravings, impact our society for evil. When people turn away from God and seek significance, security and satisfaction through the desires of the flesh, it leads to a blatant absence of self-control. This then manifests itself in hundreds of ways with devastating results on individuals, families, and certain groups. One needs the spiritual dynamics of a deep relationship with the living God as seen in such passages as I Thess. 4:1-12. Just a casual reading of this passage dramatically demonstrates how faith in Christ, biblical instruction, and the reality of God’s activity will transform all avenues of a Christian’s life.
Paul tells us “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (I Cor. 9:25). If we truly want to wear the crown of life in eternity then we must exercise self-control in all things. The wise man said, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control” (Prov. 25:28). Ask God to grant you the wisdom to understand how you might better control yourself in all situations.