"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..."
I love baseball! It is an individual sport that relies on a team for a successful outcome. It also is the only sport where, during a stoppage in play, a manager/coach can approach an umpire to dispute a rule or argue the umpire's judgment on a call. We all have seen the highlights of a manager throwing a tantrum, kicking dirt on the plate or verbally abusing an umpire. But we also have seen the umpire retaliating in anger and, in some cases, losing control. It's hard to have someone yell at you or challenge your character in any setting, but especially in front of peers and spectators. How are they to respond?
In Galatians 5:22 and 23, Paul writes that when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce self-control in us. We can't obtain this fruit by natural means. They are products of Christ's control of our lives. Our sinful nature wants to yell, get angry, try to show up the other person or get the last word. I have been a Christian for 25 years, but I have forgotten, at times, to give control of my baseball to the Lord. When I yielded total control of my life, including baseball, to the Him, this changed and the fruit began to grow.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we begin the greatest project of our lives — becoming like Him. The way others will see a picture of Christ in our lives is by our example and the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us. Self-control helps us to see our situation clearly, control our emotions and actions and allow the Lord to give us guidance in handling the situation correctly. When we live a Spirit-filled life, we live in perfect harmony with the life God intended us to live.
1. In what area of your life do you need more self-control?
2. How do you react when confronted?
3. Today, what can you do to allow the Holy Spirit to make you more like Christ?