Self-Control – the Lenten Journey

The last fruit of the Spirit is Self-Control.

I find it interesting that I started this journey with Love and I am ending it with Self-Control. It almost seems out of place among the loftiness of the other eight fruits: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. But, it is essential to having a fruitful life in general.

For me it goes back to the statement “everything in moderation.” Whenever I over indulge in any practice, be it drinking or eating, I suffer. That is a minor example of Self-Control in my everyday life.

I do know people that suffer from serious addictions that have infiltrated every aspect of their lives and have caused serious damage to relationships and future prospects.  I know alcoholics, workaholics, selfish alcoholics, smokers, control freaks, etc. These extremes always are a path to destruction. The only way out of these more destructive paths of out of control behavior is the strength of the Holy Spirit. God has a way of giving many people who are out of control immediate relief and a rope to salvation from their addicitons.

We must practice a life of self-control, or moderation, or temperance, in order to live a sane, healthy, and fruitful life. It is always about balance. That balance brings so many of the other fruits of the spirit.

I’ll be honest. I don’t exercise self-control as often as I do, but I think that all boils down to our personal relationship with the creator. My spontaneity might seem like out of control behavior to a more controlled person, but without my spontaneity my soul would suffer. I balance my need for spice in my life with a checkmark with God first. He did make me the way I am.

Each one of these nine fruits of the spirit truly boil down to one thing. Having a personal relationship with God where His will guides us daily. The fruits of the spirit manifest themselves differently in each one of us depending on the situation that merits that fruit. Exercising self-control is no different.

In quick summation, as I am sitting here trying to get ready for Easter Sunday at Church, self-control is living life in moderation, but still enjoying it according to God’s Will in our lives. To be out of control, is to go against our bodies, damage our souls, and hinder our Godly mission on this earth. Seek God above all things and your paths will be blessed.

I leave you, to get ready for Easter, with Matthew 6:31-34 from the New International Version (NIV)

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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