Here I am, at the last of the Fruits of the Spirit. I must admit, I’m kind of sad. This has been a good exercise for me to be regularly searching and learning more about the Bible – learning about a topic well enough to explain it to others. It is good.
Self-control. This one might be the hardest to exercise on a daily basis.
Proverbs 25:28 says a person who lacks self-control is “like a city whose walls are broken through.” Without self-control we are defenseless and open to attack. When my walls are broken through, I am short. I am irritable. I have a short fuse. Every slight mistake and inconvenience suddenly becomes an attack and I must counter-attack.
But this is now how we are called to live.
My walls must be strong, with soldiers at the ready. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t mean I am a fortress to be guarded from my children, but rather from the things they do or say that might cause me to NOT exercise self-control. When I see these “attacks” coming, I must be ready. I must breathe, stay calm, and remain the adult in the situation.
“I know you’re mad, but I’m not changing my mind.”
“I’m so sorry you’re upset. Why don’t you find a safe place to calm down.”
“You absolutely get to be mad right now. But you do not get to make a bad choice when you are mad.”
“I can’t help you unless you tell me what you are feeling.”
“I’m not mad that you spilled, I just wish you would clean up your mess.”
For real – I say these things almost every day. They sound so amazingly cheesy when I’m not in the situation, but they help me stay calm. These are how the Spirit is working in me to maintain self-control. The Spirit is working in me. I absolutely, 100% cannot do this on my own. I pray, and pray, AND PRAY for more self-control.
Lord Jesus, don’t ever stop working in me and filling me with the Fruits of your Spirit.