This morning I was sitting on my swing & I wrote something about how a “miraculous” event wasn’t actually miraculous, but more God providing me with self-control. Something clicked when I wrote that.
You see, I have been looking at the Greek meanings & roots of self control & looking up all the Bible verses associated with it & again I found myself at an intellectual dead end. I found no more clarity from that study than I had previously. Just more words to add that weren’t helpful. So I closed my books & walked away. Walking away is exhibiting self control. It is a God-given ability to fly (as in fight or flight). That is something God gave us, instilled in us & it doesn’t just apply to person-to-person conflict. Can’t it also apply to internal conflict? You either fight through it or walk away.
There is beauty in walking away. There is clarity in walking away. Walking away can quiet the noise and in that quiet we can hear Jesus.
What I heard this morning was a whisper to my mind: self control isn’t an intellectual thing. It isn’t something we “understand.” It is something we do, like I did when I walked away. Love, joy, peace, goodness, & faithfulness are all areas we need to understand before we can be them or act on them. Patience, gentleness, kindness, & self control are the virtues that seem to be more action than understanding. You learn patience through practice; the ability to be patient is developed through action. Once you see a lack of gentleness, it is easier to put it into practice in your own life. You don’t have to understand self control. You just have to practice it. The practice of it develops it.
So what does the Bible say about it? Because really that is where it matters. I can give you my findings all day, but the importance is in what the Bible says – not what I say. 2 Peter 1:5-8 says:
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Do you see how important self control is? It is one of the bases of what keeps us developing fruit or virtue in our lives – virtues like the ones we have talked about for the last month. Without self control, can we be patient? What about gentle or kind?
Titus 2:11-13 tells us:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
What other qualities are listed with self control?
____________ & __________ lives.
Really quickly look up Galatians 5 in Strongs Concordance. What word is used in place of self control?
When you boil down the Greek of temperance you get to vigor. Looking up vigor in the dictionary, one of the definitions is mental strength or force. If you have been a believer for any length of time you probably know how much of a mental game it can be. Satan loves to attack us mentally, because sometimes what is logical isn’t always Biblical. Jesus wasn’t “logical.” I mean, how many people would say coming back from the dead is a logical thing? Have you ever had anyone touch your coat & miraculously be healed? Not logical, but totally Jesus.
It takes some serious mental fortitude to be a believer. All the virtues are part of that mental fortitude. They all work together and they feed off of one another, just like Paul told us they did.
So as we wrap up our study together, I challenge you to go back over the fruit of the spirit & pick one or two areas to commit to prayer & developing through the summer. Maybe now that you have two studies with us under your belt (1 & 2) maybe you could attempt to study on your own! (But fear not! We are just an email or message away if you need a bit of guidance.)
So you did it! You made it through another study with us. Thank you for committing your time & energy to this. Thank you for going through with us. If you do life with us over on social media (IG & FB) you have seen our summers are much different than the rest of the year. All of us at HFL are work from home mommas & all of us have multiple areas of work on our plate, so throw kids into the mix & well…… I think you get the rest. So in an effort to refresh, rest, & just enjoy time with our kids, we are taking June off from blogging. But we will still be over on social media doing micro-blogging (long posts, but short blogs) over there. We invite you to come & see us & do life with us. Social media is an awesome tool of connection & we really want to get to know you! (Just click the links below on your media of choice.)
In addition to that for the whole summer (June-August) we will be doing a Psalms of Summer series. We will simply be blogging life guided by Psalms. Regardless of the season of life you are in, Psalms has something to say about it. Encouragement to carry you through or continued encouragement when things are good. So please come along side us this summer as we venture through Psalms. Maybe if you feel lead, even share some of your “ah-ha” moments with us! We will be back here on Wednesdays in July & August, then in September you can expect our regular Monday/Wednesday blogging schedule to resume. So farewell for now, but we’ll see you soon over on social media!