I love the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I love those characteristics. I revel in them, who doesn’t want more of those things in their life, more love, more joy, more peace. I love them all. Apart from self-control. Why did God have to include self-control?
Now, I have to be careful here, the fruit of the spirit is not nine separate things, its not like a tick list of things that I can get or develop in my life, it’s one fruit, one fruit in nine flavours. I can’t have love without self control, I can’t have joy without self control. But its so hard.
It involves discipline, to be a disciple means to be disciplined and it’s a struggle, the flesh craves satisfaction. Paul talks a lot about it in Romans 8;5 “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
In Galatians 5 he says; “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
2 Timothy 1; “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
And in Philippians 4; “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
So then, the answer, how do we attain to this self control? Remain in God, empowered by his Spirit, draw close to Him, take strength from your relationship with Him. Take time each day to be in God’s presence, read the bible, worship Jesus, pray, walk with him and as you remain grafted into the true vine you will bear fruit, you will be empowered to crucify the flesh and to find self control. You will learn to be a disciple as you learn the disciplines of the Christian life.
And you will be blessed as you grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and even self-control.