The Fruit of Self-Control

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).

“You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control…” (2 Timothy 3:1-3, NLT)

To have self-control is to be in control of oneself. It is restraint exercised and control over one’s emotions, actions, and desires. A person with self-control possesses a dominion, might, power, and strength that only comes from self-discipline.

Without the fruit of self-control in our lives we are vulnerable and unprotected, destined to strike out in a foolish manner, disqualified for the blessing, defeated, anemic in prayer, and sowing toward a harvest we really do not want: “A man’s harvest in life depends entirely upon the seeds he has sown” (Galatians 6:7, PT). In fact, every failure to apply self-discipline is a seed that will produce adverse circumstances later in life.

We can consistently walk in a greater measure of self-control by increasing our personal knowledge of God, by taking charge over our feelings, by studying and applying the Proverbs daily (I recommend reading one Proverb every day), by resisting the urge to control everybody else, and by letting the Holy Spirit direct and guide our lives. The Bible very clearly teaches that if we will walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Romans 8:1, 9).