Psalm 1:3 ’He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season…’

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22.

The fruit of the Spirit called self-control is the divine enablement of the indwelling Spirit to control all-natural and human inclinations, impulses, emotions, and appetites. This is a likewise important aspect of the life of the believer. You see, the fruit of the Spirit is one, but it has nine different manifestations or ways of expression. It is like a tree with many branches. All nine manifestation of the one fruit of the Spirit is to build godliness, holiness, and strong character into the lives of God’s people. As a child carries in his body the DNA of his father in the natural world, the same way you ought to carry the DNA of your heavenly Father in your spirit, beginning from cooperating with and encouraging the workings of the Holy Spirit in your life. He wants to shape you into a befitting and honorable vessel for the Master, who is Christ. ‘Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.’ – 2 Timothy 2:21. He wants you to be one who reflects His divine nature. This is not something you can do by your own strength, all you need is to relax and yield yourself to Him.

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Self-control (egkrateia)

The Greek word for self-control, egkrateia, is the virtue of mastering your desires and sensual appetites. Its root meaning is power over oneself. It is mastery over the inclinations of the flesh. The opposite of self-control is self-indulgence, which is actually lack of restraint or discipline. It is not a godly attribute to be self-indulgent; always having what your body or emotions want. Those who live their lives this way might be unable to fulfill their God-given destinies and maximize their potentials. You must learn, by the grace of God supplied through the indwelling Spirit, to deny self. Don’t eat all you want, don’t sleep all your body wants. Abstain. Hold back.

Paul the apostle was talking to the governor of Caesarea, Felix, about faith in Christ. Self-control was one of the three topics he discussed with him. Evidently, Christ wants His people to possess this beautiful attribute in their lives. ‘Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’ – Acts 24:25

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Walking in the Spirit

‘Add to your knowledge self-control.’ – 2 Peter1:6

Those who choose to walk with God and receive His blessings upon their lives must also be ready to bear (or increase in) the fruit of self-control. A self-controlled man is a man that the devil will find very difficult to successfully tempt. Temptation is usually strongest in areas where people lack self-control; in other words, the devil carries out research on people, when he finds the areas of their indulgence and indiscipline, he then tailors his temptations to appeal to them in such areas. But the self-controlled man will rarely fall into the devil’s traps. Listed below are some very common areas where you must be self-controlled:

Control your anger. ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.’ – Proverbs 17:32. ‘Do not hasten in your spirit to get angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.’ – Ecclesiastes 6:9.

Control your appetite. Don’t be a glutton. ‘When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you; And put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite.’ – Proverbs 23:1,2

Control your tongue. Don’t be talkative or abusive. Restrain from being quick in condemning or passing judgment. ‘The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.’ – Proverbs 15:2.

Control your impulses. Don’t be given to irritation. Don’t buy what you want, only buy what you need. ‘He who is impulsive exalts folly.’ – Proverbs 14:29.

Control what you watch on television. ‘Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.’ – Psalm 119:37.

‘Whoever has no rule over his spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.’ – Proverbs 25:28.

The picture of a man who lacks self-control is that of a city whose walls have been so nearly destroyed as to be without defense against an enemy; so is the man who exercises no restraint over his spirit, the source of man’s passionate energies. He has no defense against lust, anger, gluttony, impulsive spending, talkativeness and other unbridled habits and emotions that destroy the personality. Self-control is a strong shield against the enemy’s manipulations.

I encourage you to choose the way of the Lord, decide to grow up in the fruit of the Spirit, and you’ll be amazed how you will be transformed more into the likeness of the Lord.

Engaging the wisdom of God to bear the fruit of Peace

‘Whoever has no rule over his spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.’ – Proverbs 25:28.

  1. Meditate on all the scriptures used in this writing. Meditation is key to inward conviction, leading to faith and action. (See Psalm 119:99)
  2. Ask the indwelling Spirit to help you. Patiently and honestly list all the areas where you are indulgent and lack discipline. Then ask the Lord to help gain mastery over those areas and help you to be self-controlled. Keep praying until you see answers. (See Hebrews 4:15)
  3. Be ready for lessons. The answers to your prayers will come through everyday-life events that will tempt you, but you must resolve to pass the tests. (See Philippians 1:27).

Are you ready for God to help you bear much fruit of Gentleness?

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I would love to hear how this article impacted you or any questions you have. Make sure to leave a comment below or contact us today. Thank You.

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Angela Lowe, MS. Ed., LPC
Angela Lowe is a licensed Professional Counselor, trained Biblical Counselor and certified Holistic Health Coach. Her kingdom mandate is to restore God’s counsel to transform lives, marriages, and churches worldwide.