Read: Galatians 5:19-23
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
As noted throughout this series of W.I.S.H. posts the “fruit of the Spirit” are qualities and characteristics that the Holy Spirit helps to develop or produce within us, today is the last of this series of posts and the virtue is self-control. The Holy Spirit works within us helping us to have or to develop self-control. I think that might surprise some people who have never thought of it that way before.
Self-control is an interesting concept, most people generally accept that we need to practice self-control and are responsible for our actions. But there are some folks who want to excuse their lack of self control, blaming others or circumstances. “The devil made me do it”. That’s a problem. One of life’s big principles is that we are all responsible for our actions. “You make me mad…” is an attempt to blame someone else for our response or reaction. A healthier view, that at least takes ownership of the response is, “I get angry when…” Anyway, I suppose a truly pathological person might blame the Holy Spirit for not giving them greater self-control. The truth remains: we are all responsible for our behavior, AND, the Holy Spirit is a resource for us through which we may mature, grow stronger and healthier.
I find it interesting that the Holy Spirit helps us with “self control”. Implied in that is the fact that WE maintain control. The Holy Spirit does not come in and take over. One of God’s greatest gifts to humanity is free will. As God’s children, filled with the Holy Spirit, we do not cease to be the one that chooses. The Holy Spirit of God is with us always, and it is a willing partner for God’s will, but it will not “take control” of our life; that is not God’s way God’s will is for us to grow in the fruit of the Spirit – in this instance, to grow in self-control.
Pastor Rob Nystrom