Practical Proverbial, from Galatians, 26 July 2022. Today’s topic: Nine Fruits: Self-Control

But the fruit of the Spirit is…self-control….  Galatians 5:23

Self-control is the last Galatians 5 fruit of God’s Spirit.   It is, perhaps, the most difficult to understand, and for us to implement in our lives.  The King James version doesn’t use “self-control,” instead describing “temperance.”  I actually prefer that word, but for our purposes, let’s go with the more current term.

The other eight fruits of Jesus’ Spirit – recall, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness – are natural qualities.   They’re behaviors we can grow, but by and large, they’re universal, understandable attributes.  But self-control (or temperance) is different.   It’s a worldly quality we can be taught.   David Mathis, the executive editor of, puts it this way:

“Alongside love and godliness, self-control serves as a major summary term for Christian conduct in full flower. It is the climactic “fruit of the Spirit” in the apostle’s famous list and one of the first things that must be characteristic of leaders in the church. Acts summarizes the apostle’s reasoning about the Christian gospel and worldview as “righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment”. And Proverbs likens “a man without self-control” to “a city broken into and left without walls.””

All of the Spirit’s qualities are beneficial for people to model, but it is, perhaps, self-control that’s most critical for us as sojourners in the fallen world.   Pick your poison:  there’s a sinful temptation in this world that has your name on it.   Venture long and far enough you’ll run up against that temptation. It’s almost inevitable; it’s how Satan works against us.  Enter self-control.  Developing the discipline of Godly-Spiritly, Spirit-led self-control is THE active, readily usable way to resist temptation. 

Jesus is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, and gentle.   And He spent His entire life modeling perfect self-control, whether it was resisting Satan’s overt temptations in the desert, the temptations to respond to the Pharisees, the temptations of wanting to slap his disciples for being proud and dull, or the temptation to call down legions of angels to smite the men who murdered Him at Calvary.  Jesus taught us everything we need to know about how to be self-controlled.   It’s joyfully channeling that faithful patience and kindness, basing them in following the good and gentle love that is the peaceful nature of our loving God.

We can do the same.  No, it probably won’t be easy.   But it will make a difference.  In fact, it just might make all the difference in the world.

For further reading: Proverbs 25:28, Acts 24:25, 1 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 1:7, Titus 1:8, Titus 2:6, 1 Peter 4:7, 2 Peter 1:6, Galatians 5:24

My Lord, Your Spirit is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, and temperate.   Thank You for these.   Encourage me today to model them in everything I do.

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Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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