The lack of self-control has been in the news.
- Riots in the street because a sports team lost (or won) the championship.
- More riots because a court case didn’t go the expected direction.
- Road Rage
- Social media nastiness
- Ridicule that has replaced intellectual debate in the public square
It seems our culture no longer values self-control when things don’t go our way.
But the Fruit of self-control is not merely about our temper. It’s about resisting any temptation to break God’s laws. In fact, the Seven Deadly Virtues are all about lacking self-control.
- Anger – loss of self-control over the desire for justice (or revenge).
- Gluttony – loss of self-control over the desire for food and drink.
- Avarice (Greed) – loss of self-control over the desire for material goods.
- Lust – loss of self-control over the desire for sexual pleasure.
- Sloth – loss of self-control over the desire for relaxation and comfort.
- Pride – loss of self-control over the desire for recognition and glory.
- Envy – loss of self-control over the desire for self-gain (officially defined as sorrow over the good given to another).
Our perfect model for self-control is Jesus Christ. He was always the perfect example of using self-control to allow God’s will to happen.
Lean into self-control by embracing God’s plan of love.
I choose to have self-control because it is the fruit that builds my spiritual power in and through Christ.
“Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7, RSV
I choose to show self-control during difficult circumstances. Rather than hastily making decisions, I will use self-control to patiently wait.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32, RSV