HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE SELF-CONTROL

Yesterday I was listening to a sermon on fruits of the spirit. I have read this list in Galatians many times, but other than being a checklist, I haven’t really given them much thought. As with any checklist, there are things that I can put a checkmark beside, and then there are other things that give me a hard time. I have not mastered any of the fruits, but the two that really give me the hardest time is patience and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I linked to the New Living Translation since it is easier for me to understand. I wasn’t sure what forbearance or longsuffering meant, but this list I can understand.

Even though patience is not a strong suit of mine, I can usually keep it in check. Yes, I want things done right now, and I hate waiting. But, I can remind myself that it is HIS timing, not mine, and be able to acquire a sense of peace while I wait.

However, self-control is not as easy. I might be able to keep a check on some areas of my life, but there are always other areas that seem to go unchecked. When you think about it, there are so many things to struggle with, how can we possibly be able to control everything? The food we put in our mouth, the words that we speak, the thoughts that we have, what we choose to watch, what we choose to listen to, our spending habits, what we read, or who we choose to associate with are all things that I am sure most of us can identify with.

Proverbs 25:28

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

If you have no self-control, then, like a city without its walls for protection, you are vulnerable and open for attacks. The devil loves it when we lack self-control because we leave ourselves open to his attacks.

I think the problem is the word, “I.” Because “self” control is what the fruit is called, I assumed that “I” was the one who was supposed to be able to overcome any areas that were lacking in my life. But, we really need to be calling on the Lord and the Holy Spirit to be directing us instead. I looked up the definition of control.

CONTROL: the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.

Nobody likes the idea of being controlled, even if it is by ourselves. In reality, we are “controlled” by a lot of things, we just don’t think of it in that way. Some of us might be controlled by food, by alcohol, by comparison, by money, by the past, by our fears, or by other people’s opinions. Most of us have at least two areas that we struggle with on a daily basis.

It all boils down to two choices when you think about it. It is the choice between our flesh/sinful nature or the choice of a spiritual/Godly nature.

Galatians 5:17

17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

The two sides at war remind me of the picture of seeing a devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. Which one wins? Have you heard the tale of two wolves?

“A Cherokee elder was teaching his young grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil- he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt and ego.
The other is good- he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too.”
The boy thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The elder simply replied,
“The one you feed.”
― Tsalagi Tale

You have a choice to make from the minute you wake up in the morning until you fall asleep at night. We will be faced with temptations daily and we have to decide which wolf we are going to feed; the sinful/flesh wolf or the spiritual/Godly wolf.

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken 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 endure it.

Thankfully, we have THE champion in our corner who will fight for us. Now, go feed that good wolf!

Have A Blessed Day!

 

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  1. Jennifer L Hamilton wrote:

    Thank you, that hit deep within me. I’m struggling with much of that now in my daily life,as I’m sure others are as well. You’ve helped put things in perspective.
    I love reading you Sunday blogs.
    Have a wonderful day.❤

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Jennifer, I am glad that you enjoyed the post and was able to apply it to your life. #igiveGodtheglory

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  2. Kaye wrote:

    A good devotional today. Thank you!

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Thanks, Kaye! #praisetheLord

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  3. Pamela wrote:

    EXCELLENT message today! Really hits home! Thank You!

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Pamela, I think that most of us struggle with this issue. #HeismyLord

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  4. Amy wrote:

    Very good article on this Sunday morning. Self control can only benefit us; never harm us or make things worse. Only better.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Yes, Amy!!! Controlling our flesh/sinful nature is good for our soul. #Hisloveenduresforever

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  5. Nancee wrote:

    This resonated with me today. Thank you. I shared the story of the two wolves with my husband before church today. He had actually never heard it and loved it.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Thanks, Nancee, for sharing with your husband! Joe read this story to me a couple of years ago and I loved it. #feedthegoodwolf

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  6. Marcia wrote:

    Thank you for this post. Lots to think about as I begin a new week. I always enjoy your Sunday posts.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I am glad that you like my Sunday posts. #theLordisgood

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  7. Vicki W wrote:

    Good morning Tania ~
    Great word! What a way to start the day. It is like a wonderful appetizer to the sermon I’ll hear later this morning. I’ve been leaning on the fruit of peace. Myself and a few others are being laid off later this month. But God is good and will provide in His perfect time.
    Thanks for starting my day with the Fruits of the Spirit refresher.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Vicki, I am sorry that you and your friends will lose your jobs shortly. I know it is a scary time for everyone, but I love that you are leaning in to the Lord for peace. #Godisfaithful

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  8. Sandra Dunlap Ellison wrote:

    I love your Sunday devotional! They are so insightful.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      Thanks, Sandra! All the glory goes to the Lord. He directs me to others who are better spoken than me, and I draw inspiration from them. #glorytotheLord

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  9. Shannon Moore wrote:

    I love you and your love for the Word. Sundays have become my favorite days to read the blog, although I read faithfully each day. God bless and prayers for us all as we try to show the world to Jesus through the fruits.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I love Sunday posts also. I feel that is the reason that the Lord has blessed my blog. #gratefulandblessed

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  10. Kaye Iwan wrote:

    Enjoyed today’s devotion. Thank you

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I am glad that you enjoyed today’s devotional. #devotional

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  11. Lynn wrote:

    Thank you Tanya!

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I am glad that you enjoyed the post. #theLordisKing

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  12. Danisha wrote:

    Thank you! I struggle with both .

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
    • Tania wrote:

      I struggle daily, Danisha. #relyontheLord

      Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  13. Sandi wrote:

    Thank you Tania! This post spoke to me personally. I love following you for inspiration – spiritually and for fashion!
    Blessings,
    Sandi

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  14. Sheila wrote:

    It’s so true! I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing scripture along with your wise words. And your beautiful outfits!

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  15. Elizabeth Higginbotham wrote:

    Love this message. Thanks for sharing. ❤️

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  16. Elizabeth knight wrote:

    Thank you for the beautiful message .I try to feed the good wolf every day with the help of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  17. Charlotte wrote:

    Thank you for the life lesson and your inspiration to live a pleasing life. Love your blog!

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  18. Kay wrote:

    Tania, Thank your Sunday posts. Thought provoking, and almost always feel like meant for me. Great ministry.

    Posted 2.2.20 Reply
  19. Lucy wrote:

    Thank you for selecting these verses today . You did a wonderful job sharing your thoughts and leaving me with so much to think about throughout the week to keep me inspired. Wishing you an amazing week!

    Posted 2.3.20 Reply
  20. Belinda wrote:

    I am not a person who posts a lot. I have posted a few times to let you know I appreciate your Sunday posts. I know a lot of people do not care to see spiritual or religious postings—-they have the option to not read them & they know on Sundays you will post such a post. However, I want to THANK YOU for these posts. I wish you & your family only the best. May God Bless you with good health & much happiness!!!

    Posted 2.3.20 Reply
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