Thursday, October 16, 2008

Savoring a Cup of Tea: Fruit of the Spirit (Self Control)

I've been "savoring" this fruit of the Spirit for quite a while now. It really is the root of so many "issues" we have in our society, isn't it? As we watch the government attempt to bail out banks, we can only wonder about the lack of self control when greed takes over and people begin to buy more house than they can afford or banks want to approve people for loans that are unwise because a bigger loan brings more interest money to the bank.

We will soon be bombarded with ads relating to Christmas and all the gifts we're expected to buy. If someone mentions a budget for Christmas (i.e. self control in spending), then that person is often considered miserly or a "Scrooge."

As soon as Christmas is over, the diet craze begins as everyone wants to start a new year off right and burn off all the pounds they put on during their holiday gluttony (gluttony is simply lack of self control when you eat and choosing to eat more and more and more and more...).

In addition to areas like budgeting and eating responsibly, there are everyday issues of controlling our tempers, choosing to clean house instead of reading a book, choosing to write a letter to a grandparent instead of playing around on the internet, choosing to file our paperwork (bills and such) in a timely manner instead of letting it all pile up, choosing to love our husbands and spend time with them in the evening instead of talking on the phone to a friend.... It all boils down to self control, doesn't it? When we can control our selves, all that our flesh desires at the expense of what the Spirit desires, then what a life we will begin to lead! It's no wonder that this is a fruit of the Spirit because our fleshly selves are powerful forces with which to reckon.

The good news is always the same: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. When we are out of control in whatever area, we can pray for the Spirit to fill us and enable us to have self control. The more we abide in Christ--the more time we spend in prayer and in the Word--the more we are in tune with the Holy Spirit. I'm learning constantly that the small daily decisions I make have such a lifetime of impact and they also get easier to make as the habit becomes more ingrained. Getting up fifteen minutes earlier to pray and read your Bible (and, for me, pray that the Holy Spirit will enable me to control my temper when my daughter makes me so mad) becomes such a part of your routine that you will find yourself longing for that time, that it actually can motivate you to get out of bed some mornings. I don't need a new diet plan for those last 10 pounds, I need some self control. I don't need a new parenting plan, I need some self control. I need to exercise self control in my budgeting, in my household management, in my time with my children, ..... I need to pray, don't I? I need to seek the Lord and his strength, his Holy Spirit, his face first.

Scripture makes it very clear that our first priority is to seek the Lord. Pray for that self control to set aside time to seek Him!

1 comment:

Bridgette Boudreaux said...

Amen! I totally agree that the struggles we go through everyday boil down to struggles with our self control. Thanks for providing me with more inspiration to keep up the fight!