Self-control is one of the fruits produced by the Holy Spirit within us, if we have aligned ourselves with the Spirit and are striving to be godly and Christlike -- if we have nurtured and fertilized our spiritual garden.
The more we practice Christian living, as doers of the Word, the more we benefit from the Holy Spirit's powers.
One of these powers is to make it easier for us to exercise self-control. The Holy Spirit builds a protective wall around us that almost automatically fends off temptation.
"Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control."
- Proverbs 25:28
How strong is your wall? Is it broken and crumbling? Do you give in, almost automatically, to temptation? Or do you have a fortress built by the Holy Spirit, a solid wall like that of a medieval castle, repelling Satan's arrows and blocking the songs of Sirens?
If our walls are weak, then every day will be stressful, damaging, disruptive, and potentially fatal. Nearly every encounter will expose our lack of self-control, leading to conflict, bad decisions, and damage to our bodies, minds and relationships.
If our walls are strong, nearly every encounter will be governed by our self-control. A friendly, pleasant conversation, instead of an argument or hurtful words that burn for a long time. Wise decisions, instead of fateful ones - not to take that drink before stepping into the car, not to succumb to peer pressure to try a "cool" drug, not to cross the line into marital infidelity, to honor our bodies as temples of Christ, to preserve our character, morality, and self-esteem, not to toss God aside when convenient, but rather to abide in Him as our Rock, Protector, and Eternal Friend - the One who will always be there for us in the best of times and the worst of times.
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit that truly empowers us to glorify God, fulfill the purposes for which God created us, and keep steadfastly walking toward Christ.
Let the Holy Spirit in and make Him feel at home. Let Him repair any cracks in our walls, whenever they appear (and they will). Let Him strengthen the self-control each of us must have to be true disciples of Christ for the world and for our own sanctification.
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
- Titus 2:11-14
(NIV/copyright Biblica, Inc. 2011)
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Copyright 2020 James Wallace
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