The Last Fruit of the Spirit

Monday, June 15, 2015

Well, what do you know! We have finally made it to the last Fruit of the Spirit - self-control. This fruit is no less important than all the others. It is so important that we are constantly working on cultivating each of the nine fruits in our lives (I believe there's nine...yes, I just sang it in my head.  My mom had a song for the Fruit of the Spirit as well).  

Back to self-control.  If you were to ask me what self-control is my mind would instantly think back to when my siblings and I were little. We would often get rowdy and we could never keep our hands to ourselves.  Mom would say: "Show me what self-control looks like." We would fold our hands together (like you do when your praying) and place them in our lap.  It forced us to have to resist the temptation to be loud and out-of-control.  And that's basically what self-control is - not giving into temptation. It's having the will power to be able to say no.

Self-control not only deals with physical temptations but all types of temptations. Temptations relating to food, thoughts, money, relationships and so on.  Talking about temptation I have to share with you my favorite verse about temptation.  1 Corinthians 10:13 is such a comforting verse when you are dealing with temptation.  "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."  

We are all tempted.  Lots of times it feels like there is a battle going on inside my head.  My desires battle against what I know is the right thing to do.  If you want to know something about me I've always been really self-disciplined.  It's built into my personality.  I set my mind to do something and it gets done (well, most of the time at least).  But I'm still just like everyone else.  I make bad choices and give into my desires only to end up feeling horrible for letting temptation win.  

We all struggle with learning how to have self-control. Good news is there is a remedy. There is something that we can do to help us learn to have self-control in our lives.  When temptations come we need to be prepared with truth.  Have verses memorized to remind you to keep your eye's focused on God.  A good one when you are dealing with your thoughts is Philippians 4:8 

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."   

1 Corinthians 10:31 is a good verse to have on hand when you are trying to determine whether to say 'yes' to something or if you should say 'no.'  

"Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God."  
If it glorifies God. go for it! If it doesn't. you might want to rethink it.

The more you say 'no' to your sinful desires the easier it will be for you to have self-control.  

With God's help each day, you can learn to say 'no' to temptation and you will grow in your walk with God.  

Sadly, this brings me to the end of my writings on the Fruit of the Spirit.   I've learned so much (and I hope you have too).  Most of my inspiration for my writing came from A Young Women's Walk with God by Elizabeth George.  I read this book for my morning devotions and I enjoyed it very much. If you ever get the chance it's a great read. 

Oh, and one more thing.  So now that I'm all done with writing about the Fruit of the Spirit I got a t-shirt to help me remember all that I've learned.  

My dad bought this shirt for me a few days ago, but I haven't worn it yet because I wanted to wait until I finished my last post on the Fruit of the Spirit.  I love new shirts and prefer to wear them a soon as possible...but I was able to show self-control and not wear my t-shirt right away (Ha! Victory!).  I'm so happy now because I can finally wear my new shirt!

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