Galatians 5:22-23 is one of the most memorized scriptures in the bible. This scripture speaks of the fruit that comes out of being part of Jesus and having the Spirit within. It lists many different aspects of the Spirit’s “fruit” that should be produced from us. So let’s discuss the fruit and what they should truly look like in our lives.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.”
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”
There are many ways to describe self-control, but this is the real key: Self-control is the ability to choose what we do.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t easy, but everyone has this choice and Jesus helps us to make this choice.
Reason For Self-Control: Be Like Christ
The first thing that I believe Jesus gives us to help with self-control is a reason to not sin that the Bible presents to us.
Philippians 2:1-4 and John 15:5-6 tells us that we are supposed to be like-minded with Jesus. Therefore, we have a reason to keep ourselves under control because we are supposed to be like Him and abide in Him.
Another great point of Philippians 2 is that we are supposed to be humble, meaning we need to take another person’s view first. We are called to control our own urges such that we take other’s needs first before our selves.
This allows us to have time to recognize why we shouldn’t do something and helps us to cling to God’s better wishes for our lives.
Ability For Self-Control: God In Us
The greatest help for controlling ourselves though, given by Jesus, is God is in us through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told us that we are forgiven of our sins so we can go forth and sin no more. (John 8:11) We are now free from our old life because even He who is sinless will not cast a stone at us. How much better can we be knowing that our past failures are forgotten?
The Lord then gave us the Spirit so that we could know His wishes (John 16:13). Therefore, the Spirit can guide us in ways that we do not understand such that God’s will, not our own, will be done.
This allows us the ability to pray to God and have faith that He will answer those prayers and give us the guidance to do His will.
We cannot cling to the idea of doing things without bringing them before God. We were guided to pray in everything, and this enable us to bring all our work before the Lord. (Ephesians 6:18) This is another way to make sure that we are not being selfish in our acts.
Control yourself brothers (and sisters). The Lord has commanded us to be like Him, and His actions were never selfish.
Do not get me wrong, the Lord didn’t say we cannot ask about selfish things. Jesus even asked not to have to carry our burdens, but the example He set was to accept what the Lord gives us in all things and respond by doing God’s will.
Trust God, and His will be done. Brothers, as you trust what the Spirit commands, it will benefit you in the future!