Self-control is the ninth of nine fruits of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians, Chapter 5:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
Self-control, as a fruit of the Spirit, is about more than just restraining ourselves from negative actions or impulses. It's an intentional discipline that aligns our desires and actions with God's will for our lives. Let’s see what God’s Word says about this critical fruit.
NO PAIN; NO GAIN
In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 9, the Apostle Paul uses the metaphor of an athlete to emphasize the importance of self-control. Just as an athlete disciplines their body and mind for the race, so must we be disciplined in our walk with Christ. From personal experience, there is a certain amount of pain required at times to make my body, mind, and spirit a slave to Christ. If my main desire is to avoid pain and be uncomfortable, I will never fully attain to the high calling of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
JUST SAY “NO”
God's grace empowers us to live Holy Spirit-led, self-controlled lives. By relying on the grace of Christ, we resist worldly temptations and live in accordance and obedience with God's will.
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age." Titus 2:11-12
SELF-CONTROL REQUIRES EFFORT
In 2 Peter, Chapter 1, the Apostle Paul lays out a progression of virtues that build upon one another. It's noteworthy that self-control is foundational to perseverance, godliness, and love, indicating its central importance in the Christian life. Again, no pain, no gain.
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love." 2 Peter 1:5-7
Intentional self-control is a recurring theme throughout the New Testament. It serves as a reminder that living a Christian life is not passive; it requires active, daily decisions to align with God’s will. While the world may advocate for immediate gratification, God’s Word reminds us of the greater rewards in store for those who choose the path of self-control.
As we embrace this and the other eight fruits of the Spirit the Apostle Paul identifies in Galatians, Chapter 5, we will be transformed by the Holy Spirit into the men and women Christ wants us to become.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
This concludes my walk with you through the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit in this scripture. I assume there are many more, and I don’t pretend to be a Biblical scholar. I will leave it to the great theologians of our time to inform us of others. All I know is these nine are enough to keep me busy! May we all take the following actions:
Journey well, my friends.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
October 20, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. Note: All scriptures quoted are from the NIV.
If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.