The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. — Galatians 5:22–23
I love baseball. This is a sport that relies on a team for a successful outcome. Baseball is also the only American sport where, 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 watched a manager throwing a tantrum, kicking dirt on the plate, or verbally abusing an umpire. 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.
The Apostle Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit produces self-control in those he indwells. We can’t obtain this fruit by natural means; it is produced only when we look to Christ’s control of our lives. Granted, our sinful nature wants to yell, get angry, show off, or get the last word. Even though I have been a Christian for twenty-five years, I have often forgotten to give control of my favorite game to the Lord. But when I’ve yielded my life—including baseball—to Him, I’ve been changed and have witnessed the fruit of self-control grow stronger.
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 is formed within us. When He produces self-control in us, we are able to see our situation more clearly, control our emotions and actions, and allow Him to guide us in handling circumstances correctly. Living a Spirit-filled life means living in harmony with the life 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?
Extra Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24–27; Galatians 6:1–5; 2 Peter 1:3–11
Gracious God, thank You for continuing the good work You’ve begun in me and producing fruit in my life that points others to Jesus. In His name. Amen.