Part 10 – “Self-Control”

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, Self-Control.

During the years that my daughter was making choices that terrified me, I would make up my mind that I was going to back off from trying to regulate her. I knew in my heart that it was futile to try to change her and I would give myself a pep talk about letting her hit her own rock bottom, but then, within hours or even minutes, I was right back to being consumed with thoughts about what I was going to do to fix or control her. The problem was that I was relying purely on my own “self-control” without inviting Jesus to help me with how to handle her, or more precisely, how to handle myself when it came to my relationship with her. I often wonder if there really is any such thing as SELF control. I am absolutely powerless to control myself, but by allowing my savior to take the reigns of my life, I make better choices. Through Christ I am more loving, forgiving, and accepting and I can even be at peace even in the midst of the storms around me.

Controlling my thoughts, words, and actions only happens when I submit and surrender everything to the Lord and completely trust Him to lead and guide me. In Proverbs 3:5 it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make our paths straight.” On my own I make a mess of everything, but if I am earnestly seeking a relationship with God and allowing Him to act in my life, I find that I have the ability, with His help, to stop myself from speaking or acting in a way that is detrimental to myself and those around me. In Proverbs 5:23, it says, “He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.” It’s pretty sobering to realize that lack of self-control equates to being lost and foolish, isn’t it? Those are not things with which we identify when we have our identity in Jesus Christ.

The Fruit of the Spirit are the attributes we display in our lives when we are growing in our relationship with Jesus. They are His characteristics and as we follow Him, we can’t help but to become more like Him. We develop love, joy, peace patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as we submit to and walk closely with the Lord every day of our lives. It is only through Him that we can experience and exhibit the positive qualities that Galatians 5:22 identifies as The Fruit of the Spirit.

by Cathy Taylor

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