The Fruit of the Spirit this week is self-control. I’ve chosen a lime to represent self-control because when we don’t have self-control in front of others it can leave them with a sour taste.
Having self-control is the ability not to show your feelings or not do things that your feelings make you want to do.
The dictionary states self-control is to refrain or avoid or be stable, calm or harmonious. It also says having self-control means not to agitate, excite, indulge or upset. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a very tall order. I find myself challenged with all of the above almost hourly, especially when with my family.
Self-control is not cursing loudly when you step in a pile of cat vomit as it squishes between your toes. It’s not reacting rudely when someone interrupts you. It’s not screaming at someone when they accidently ram their scooter into your leg.
Self-control is asking politely with a smile, even when it feels like it’s the 100th time you’ve asked. It’s being careful with others things, even if they have not been careful with yours. It’s smiling and calmly listening when someone’s yelling at you because they’re upset. It’s resisting a third cupcake even though you know it would taste oh so good.
Self-control is not letting your circumstances dictate your thoughts, words or actions. Having self-control is putting the feelings of someone else above your own and acting or speaking in a way to be helpful, not harmful.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ Titus 2:11-13
As hard as I try to be an example of a wife, mom, daughter, friend or Christian who has self-control, I fail miserably every day. Whenever I do appear to have self-control, it’s not by my own doing. It’s only by the grace of God, the help of the Holy Spirit, that I am able to resist reacting in a hysterical awful ridiculous manner throughout my day. Praise be to God for His goodness!
What does self-control look like to you? When have you witnessed it? How have you been an example of self-control? When do you find it difficult to have self-control?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, You gave us Your Son, Jesus, who was the perfect example of self-control. I pray for strength to choose what is right, even though it may not be easy, Amen.