This week I’m continuing a blog series on the fruit of the Spirit. I’m excited about this series and I’m believing God that we continue to be FRUITFUL! So this week let’s talk about The Fruit of the Spirit – Self-Control.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
-Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
Have you ever seen something or someone completely out of control? In racing, you might hear half the people go for the race and half go for the crash. It’s the idea of seeing something out of control. Something bigger than ourselves that could spell the ultimate victory or a painful defeat that goes down in a huge crash; completely out of control. Have you ever been out of control? I mean after it’s all over you look back and think, “How did I let that happen or how could I have gotten so out of control of myself?” I’ve been there more times than I’m proud of that’s for sure. Whether it’s anger, addiction, lust, or anything else that the human condition can produce, it’s not a good feeling being out of control. Prisons are filled with people who couldn’t control themselves but so are office buildings. It seems we live in an out-of-control society. As a matter of fact, our entire reality TV addiction in this country is built on getting people who can’t control themselves then filming and editing it for us all to see!
Having self-control is probably one of the most beneficial fruits of the Spirit. This is the fruit that will keep us out of harm’s way in our walk with God and our relationship with others. Just like all the other fruits though, it is grown in situations that require it. When we use it we don’t lose it! You’ll be presented plenty of situations where you can lose it and blow up on everybody or you can blow it big-time with your family but regardless of the situation how we grow the fruit is applying it.
When we want to respond angry we use have self-control. When we want to make a bad decision because we “deserve it”, use have self-control. When we want to take something that isn’t ours because “we’ve earned it”, use self-control. Sometimes taking a deep breath and “playing out the tape” is how I avoid bad decisions. Like I said, I’ve made quite a few bad decisions and so have you, but I’ve also made quite a few good ones and it’s usually because I “play the tape out”. This is a saying I picked up in recovery. It helps overcome impulsive thinking.
Before you make a decision, do these 3 things:
- Ask, “Is this what God’s will is for your life?” This is pretty straight-forward. Is this what God would want me to do?
- Play the tape all the way out and just envision the future and the impact your decision will have on it.
- What’s the wise thing to do? One of the most powerful questions you could ask!
If you have an affirmative on all these points, then you can be pretty sure you are making a good decision.
Making good decisions isn’t something people are born with, it’s a skill that can be developed. So let’s make some good ones this week!