But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I love baseball! It is an individual sport that relies on a team for a successful outcome. It also is the only American sport in which, during a stoppage in play, a manager or coach can approach an umpire to dispute a rule or argue a call. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen a manager throwing a tantrum, kicking dirt on the plate or verbally abusing an umpire. And we’ve also seen the umpire retaliating in anger and, sometimes, losing control. It’s hard to have someone yell at us or challenge our character in any setting, but especially in front of peers and spectators in a stadium.
In Galatians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul wrote that when the Holy Spirit dwells in us, He produces self-control in us. We can’t obtain this fruit by natural means—it is produced only when we give Christ control over our lives. Granted, our sinful nature wants to yell, get angry, show off or get the last word. Even though I’ve been a Christian for 25 years, I have often forgotten to give control to the Lord. But when I’ve yielded my life to Him, I’ve been changed and the fruit has begun to grow in my life.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we begin the greatest adventure of our lives: becoming like Him! Others will see a picture of Christ by our example, especially when the fruit of the Holy Spirit has been formed within us. When He produces self-control in us, we see our situation clearly, control our emotions and actions, and allow Him to guide us in handling the situation correctly. Living a Spirit-filled life means living in perfect harmony with the life that God intended us to live—and bearing fruit that will last!
1. In what areas of your life do you need more self-control?
2. How do you react when confronted?
3. What can you do today to allow the Holy Spirit to make you more like Christ?
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
2 Peter 1:3-11
Gracious God, thank You for continuing the good work You’ve begun in me and for producing fruit in my life that points others to Jesus! In His name, amen.