Focus on the Fruits! SELF-CONTROL
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires” (James 1:19-20).
Self-control is having control of one’s emotions, desires, or actions by one’s own will— demonstrating self-command or self-restraint. Developing self-control is challenging for all of us. Our own habits and choices, specifically those apart from God, do not lend to our self-restraint. Yet, God’s Spirit within DOES bring this lasting change in our lives. Self-control doesn’t have to be elusive if we cooperate with the Lord’s discipline and correction when we find ourselves falling short and sinking into old habits. Peter speaks about the importance of cultivating our response to God, and not allowing the lack of self-control to lead us in wrong directions; “Make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
By exhibiting self-control, we respond to circumstances in ways that honor God. “For God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). God equips us to develop this fruit through the Holy Spirit within us. What a blessing His enabling strength is to us!
Call to Action: Here are scriptures regarding self-control. Pray over them and ask the Holy Spirit to help you navigate through any struggles in this area.
“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28).
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7).
“Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips” (Psalm 141:3). “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12).
Prayer: Father God, we thank You for giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us develop our self-control. We ask that You guard our hearts and our paths from things we should avoid. Help us discern when the enemy is trying to tempt us. We lean on You for needed self-control to stay on the path of Your perfect will. Give us the strength to get through each day, Lord. We give You all the glory, honor, and praise! In Your name, we pray, Amen!
Final Thought: Self-control is ultimately Christ’s-control. Once we dedicate our lives to Him, avoiding temptation is more easily accomplished as we submit to Him. We are commissioned to, “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (1 Timothy 6:12).
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