Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. It is physical and emotional self-mastery, particularly in situations of intense provocation or temptation. It isn’t talked about alot and I surely can use more of it in my life. I can use a ton of it. Paul reminds me
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22
Before I go too much further, it is worth pointing out while it is called “self-control”, it comes from the Holy Spirit. It is not something I can just will, on my own, to happen. But it is still self-control. I have to make choices.
This is short — 2 1/2 minutes.
Self-control seems to want to hide among all these other wonderful fruits. I don’t hear a lot of people talk about it. I know I would love to ignore it. But, there it is. How do I miss it? Let’s just talk about love, joy and peace. They are much more fun.
Self-control clearly doesn’t exist on its own. Like Paul, the Apostle Peter shows that it is a part of a whole series of attributes.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. | 2 Peter 1:5–9 (NASB)
It starts with my mind. Repenting is changing my mind about who is in control. If Jesus is, then I can come under control of His Kingdom rule. I need to prepare my mind for action. I need to think of how good God is and what I will do today to support His mission.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus the Messiah. 1 Peter 1:13 (NASB)
Am I asleep at the wheel? Disaster is looming and will take me out. I need to be alert. I need to be awake. I need to be sober. What should I focus on? What does Jesus want right now? What would please Him and make Him happy?
Those are things to think on. That will prepare my mind for action.
- So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:6–8 (NASB)
- The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 1 Peter 4:7 (NASB)
- Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)