“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
Ouch, this one hurts. In my younger years I think someone forgot to explain to me what self-control was. I had a temper without a fuse, it was quick to ignite and slow to put out. My actions reflected my feelings and I had no control over either it seemed. Over the years God has shown me how to use self-control.
In our Christian walk, self-control is not only about temperament, but also about resisting the temptation to go against God’s Law. 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV tells us to, “take every thought captive to obey Christ,” Since what we think leads to actions the apostle Paul is telling us we need to take every thought we have into obedience with Christ. If we are obeying Christ in our thoughts, then our actions will be godly and we will be able to resist the temptations that are pulling at us.
Self-control means abstaining from the evils of this world. In 1 John 2:15-17 ESV the Bible tells us bout not loving the world and the evil of this world, “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life]—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
It takes self-control to love others as God loves us and not as the world loves. It takes self-control to rid ourselves of lust and infatuation of this world. It takes self-control to overcome greed, anger, and unforgiveness. It takes self-control, when we are facing a difficult situation in our lives, to show godly joy. It takes self-control to show peace and the ability to get along with others without getting into conflict with them.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 ESV