Victory starts with taking responsibility
The ninth and final Fruit of the Spirit is self-control. This isn’t by accident.
The Greek word for self-control is egkrateia. It comes from the word egkrates, which means “restraining and controlling one’s self.” Self-control is the inward strength to bring all physical appetites under the control of the Holy Spirit.
The American author H. Jackson Brown, Jr., said, “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller-skates.”
How true is that! You and I can have all the talent in the world, but we will never do anything great unless we partner with the Holy Spirit to manage ourselves well.
Our need for self-control comes in many forms, including, (but in no way limited to):
- Staying up too late
- Brushing off important tasks.
When we don’t operate with self-control, it’s because we allow how we feel to determine what we do.
So, where do we start? How do we reign in our feelings and walk in victory?
First, we must accept responsibility for our lack of self-control. I know this sounds kind of harsh, but in reality, our problems are more our fault than we think.
Often we ignore the problem and pretend that it doesn’t exist. Sometimes we blame other people. We say, “I got fired because someone else put the blame on me.” Or, “If I grew up in your home, maybe I wouldn’t be so angry.”
When we make excuses, it’s impossible to make progress. We must take responsibility for ourselves so we can have victory.
Here are some steps to walk in the Fruit of Self-Control.
- Admit you have a problem. Be specific about it.
- Ask God to forgive you. Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- Study Bible passages that address the specific areas where you need help. Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
- Get an accountability partner. Ask a trusted, mature Christian to help keep you accountable for action steps and to be a source of prayer and encouragement. James 5:16 says, “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”