Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 23

Fruit of the Spirit 8: Self-control

Bible text(s)

22But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.

Galatians 5:22-23GNBOpen in Bible reader

13Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.

1 Corinthians 10:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

“I can’t believe I did that again!” How many times have we all found ourselves muttering that to ourselves? We try to control our words and our actions, but there always seems to be that one thing that creeps back into our lives and, yet again, we give in to temptation. Everyone struggles with this throughout their lives, Christians and non-Christians alike. But those of us who have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation aren’t powerless to change our situation – we have been granted power above what our human natures are capable of possessing.

The final aspect of the Spirit’s fruit is the ability for us to gain control over our behaviour. The King James Version refers to it as temperance; in most other English translations it is described as self-control. Self-control is not will power. It is not a determination to do better. To expect the self to control itself is like letting the fox guard the hen house; it is not something that comes naturally to us. We have to be under the control of the Spirit so that God can reign in us.

We are told in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians that “no temptation has seized you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). That passage is reason enough to believe that we are quite capable of bearing the fruit of self-control in our lives. Self-control is not about trying our hardest not to sin. Rather, self-control, like the other fruit of the Spirit, is attained through submitting our lives to the Holy Spirit.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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