“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28, NIV).
I must confess that, in discussing the fruits of the Spirit, I’ve waited until the very end of our series to discuss self-control. Alright, I guess I still have kindness and patience to talk about, but those are fairly easy topics. I’d like to say that the reason for my delay in addressing self-control is that I was intentionally putting it into practice – or at least practicing the fruit of patience! But, quite honestly, I’ve put the topic of self-control off for so long because, for me, it’s one of the more challenging fruits of the Spirit to live out. Maybe it is for you as well.
We must recognize that the problem of self-control has plagued man ever since he took his first steps in the Garden of Eden. In fact, it could be argued that the first recorded sin in the Bible, Adam and Eve’s disobedience, came about due to a lack of self-control. Our ancient ancestors were told they could eat from any of the trees in the garden except one. And this is the one tree they just couldn’t resist.
The good news is that Jesus dealt with our inability to practice self-control and all its sinful implications. He is our ultimate example of self-control. The Bible says that Jesus was “…tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV). And he chose intentionally to take our sin all the way to the cross. We now stand forgiven and free.
By God’s Spirit, who lives in us, we have a power that is greater than ourselves. May we continually put into practice the Spirit fruit of self-control!