Fruit of the Spirit: Day 11

Self-Control

by

Today's Text: Proverbs 25:28, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Timothy 1:7

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

- Proverbs 25:28, NLT -

The alarm goes off at 6:30am and I lay in bed thinking about the day ahead. I have the best intentions—I will eat healthy, exercise, limit my time on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and email. I will be cheerful and present for my family, friends, co-workers, and keep my tongue in check. “I am in control” is the unsaid message exchanged between my head and heart.

My feet hit the floor and, in less than an hour, I have already spent too much time scrolling through social media, resulting in a rush to get breakfast on the table. Now feeling anxious and angry, I yell at everyone in the house for being late. The personal and work emails that arrived overnight overwhelm me, and the sight of dishes piled in the sink and clothes left on the floor exasperates me. Today’s exercise, I rationalize to myself, will be walking from the car to Starbucks and back again.

My good intentions have evaporated all too quickly, and I am ready to throw in the towel and surrender the white flag before it’s even time for lunch. The control I thought was mine seems lost. I am wiped out and done in with self-defeat. And with that, I have left an open door for the enemy to wreak havoc.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
- Proverbs 25:28, NLT

I’m sure I’m not the only one reading these Scriptures today whose good intentions become muddled in the presence of daily stresses, desires and demands. The determination to exhibit self-control can deteriorate quickly in the reality of the day, leading us down a path of guilt and discouragement, fear and shame. But does biblical self-control simply mean the ability to do what I’m determined to do, and avoid what I’m determined not to do? Is it just about trying harder?

Scripture teaches that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, not a fruit of our determination. As believers in Christ’s saving grace, we have the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, guarding our life which is now hidden in Christ. The Spirit is a sort of wall, protecting our mind, heart and soul. In His love and mercy, God rebuilds and redeems our broken pieces as we learn to abide in Him. We may not always exhibit self-control the way we want to or ought to, but His presence is here in us—Jesus promised us this!

The Holy Spirit in us is not subject to our desires, but rather He conforms our desires to Christ’s will. As we’ll read tomorrow in John 15, Jesus explains His relationship to His disciples as a vine into whom they are grafted. “Apart from me you can do nothing,” He says (John 15:5). When we are grafted into the Vine, we already have the power and authority to say “yes” or “no,” or just “not right now” because the God who lives in us has all power. Abiding in Christ’s power releases us from striving to muster up our own. In His presence we are free to move forward in grace and with courage, knowing that He is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

I still wake up most days with a mental list of all the ways I’ll control my behavior, my words, my time and my disposition, but God is teaching me that true victory is not found in controlling myself—true freedom and victory are found in being led by God’s Spirit who dwells in me. Self-control comes when I relinquish ultimate control to Jesus, my Vine and my strength. When we find our identity in Him, the fruit will come in abundance.

Lord, may we experience fulfillment today, not because of what we determine to do or not do, but because of what we know you’re doing in us. Amen.

 

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  • Stephanie Garcia

    I love this: by finding our identity in Christ and relinquishing control to Jesus, we can abide in God’s power, which is so much greater than anything we can muster ourselves!

  • Stephanie Theel

    Oh my goodness! What a spot on word for me! So thankful that through this whole series each fruit is reiterated to come from the Spirit, not our own efforts. That is such a struggle for me. It’s more about surrender and allowing the Spirit to do the work instead of just trying hard and beating my flesh into good behavior. It will never happen because our flesh is inherently evil. Only being Grafted into The Vine can Produce the good fruits of the Spirit! Thank you SRT team!

  • Molly Forsyth

    Loved this since I really struggle with trying to control everything..

    “God is teaching me that true victory is not found in controlling myself—true freedom and victory are found in being led by God’s Spirit who dwells in me. Self-control comes when I relinquish ultimate control to Jesus, my Vine and my strength. When we find our identity in Him, the fruit will come in abundance.”

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  • Christine

    It is a relinquishment of control, not is working harder. I have experienced this firsthand.

  • Samantha

    I find so much comfort in the fact that God does not ever give me more than we together can handle. He always gives a way to escape the temptation and always has my back in those situations. it’s so freeing to know that there is nothing I can do in my own strength to control myself or others – boundaries will not do that, determination will not do that. Only Christ will do that, and He is always right here inside of me and beside me. God is too cool.

  • Alissa Hodge

    When we find our identity in him, the fruit will come in abundance. What relief.

  • Kasey Gardner

    What a blessing it is that I have stumbled across this website/bible study guide. Thank you so much for taking the time to create this. God bless you! <3

  • Caroline

    Lord, I pray that You remind me that true self control comes from You, not from myself!

  • Love when the spirit leads!

  • This is very powerful, most assuredly the deepest reflection of the study

  • Ashley (WriteLaughDream)

    This series has been such a blessing! I truly needed this refreshing in the fruit of the spirit.

  • Self-control is a real struggle. There is so much freedom in Christ!

  • Christina

    Thank you Lord for this message.. I have struggled with food -too little , too much … For years . The Lord spoke so vividly to me here with these words “Abide with me” He is the one whom I should give my need for control up to. He should be the focus. The heavens are waiting to give us the supplies of self control that we need but we block the flow. We dismiss him. Thank you Lord for revelation. I love you Jesus.

    • samantha

      I too have struggle with the same things. I can give many things to the Lord but for some reason it never makes sense for me to abide in Him when it comes to food even thought that is where my most prominent struggle is. I pray that we can both rely on His strength, control, and comfort a little extra today.

  • Megan Bret

    Tomorrow being Ash Wednesday and the start of lent this was a perfect message for me today. I’m going to try to be more disciplined with my biblical studies during this upcoming Lenten season and I’m also giving up caffeine. These ideas of self-control being a gift from God really inspired me today. God bless!

  • Thanks for these words. God is speaking to me through them this morning.

  • It’s amazing to me that biblical SELF control is about allowing the SPIRIT to have control. It truly is a vine/branch process. Nothing we have or do comes from our own humanness. I think I have always operated out of the rationalization that I need to take control and do what I “should” do, and just pray about it. Aniston like God is the afterthought to my plans. I don’t think I have to tell you that has never worked out. Another thing the Holy Spirit showed me this morning is that when my life seems out of control (read: out of MY control) and not exactly as I desire it to be, I find other ways to take control, usually with what I decide to eat and how much time I spend on social media. Those two areas wreak the most havoc when I am not thrilled with the direction life is taking at the moment, and I’m not allowing Christ to be fully in control, I don’t give Him all of me. In that way, I am like a city without that hedge of protection around it. I’m not on guard, and there is no way I can protect the whole city on my own. I have to allow the Holy Spirit to wall up His will and wisdom around me.

    • EBarker

      This speaks so perfectly to what I’ve been feeling. I’ve been struggling with the same issues of defeat when things in my day get out of MY control…..but control was never mine. Like you, my outlets become social media and food escapes when I’ve lost all hope for the day. I needed this message this morning to be reminded that my source of strength is always the Lord, and when I’m feeling powerless, it’s because I haven’t fully released my day to Him.

    • Lori D

      This spoke to me today. Exactly how I feel. Just hard to take as I’ve spent my life trying to get in control of it!

  • Colette Hill

    I am the say way, I start my day off with a huge list of things that must be done and what “I” plan to do to get them accomplished and it never fails, they get dropped by the wayside. I too want to be lead by the spirit and not me trying to do the leading.

  • CindyCasto

    That’s me I make a note of what I need to do and if I’m lucky I may get 1 done

  • Jessica Winters

    I needed this. Every day I struggle with self control, and I beat myself up for it all the time. I just need to fix my eyes of Jesus and let the Holy Spirit lead me rather than me trying to lead the Holy Spirit.

  • Nikki Falvey

    This is such a good lesson. I am way too prone to be hard on myself even without the extra stress that setting self-control goals for myself brings. Less of me and more of You, Father!!

  • I can’t express how much this was needed. Thank you Jesus. God is so good

  • This message meant so much to me. Praise God.

    • Marianne

      Me too. This message was exactly what I need to hear this summer.

  • I have found that spending time in the Word everyday helps me with self-control. I want to be an example of what Believing in God means. I fail to have a perfect day, but my days are better than they were! :-)

  • Mary Beth Lewis

    The Holy Spirit has been working in me lately in regard to self control. I have always struggled with food and weight and I want so desperately to change that! I want to be able to answer His call without worrying that my body won’t be able to handle it.
    I have so been anticipating this day, this fruit, this study. Thank you Jesus for these words!

  • This is an arrow right to my heart this morning. I’ve struggled for years with control – wanting it, not having it, craving it, knowing it’s not mine but His. Thank you for the reminder that abiding in Him is the only path to true self-control!

  • Thanks so much for your words but also for this app. I’ve found it so hard to get into scripture since I’ve become a mum, my arms are always full and my head is just not as focused as it used to be. But as a leader in a local church it’s also not something I can abandon till a more ‘appropriate’ time. This app has been such a blessing and I really appreciate the words and hearts shared here. Thanks!

    • Jaydin Lopéz

      Agreed 100% this has helped me be Able to put in reading time Between Those few minutes right after the Kids finally went to sleep and your exhaling as you grab your phkne For some quiet time right before you Dont notice you just knocked out Lol. Thank you this is a blessing.

  • Outsourced IT

    This struggle is ever present in my mind and heart recently. I love the call to relinquish all of who we are to Christ because through following the Spirit we will have true discipline. How beautiful the guidance of our sweet savior is. I am too often caught up in all the little compartments of my life or checklists for the day. Lord, teach me the discipline of resting in your lead for each day.

  • This is so true! As a child I (and my friends) were taught to ‘practise self control’ but that never really showed any form of progress, and left no room for God to be working in us. Indeed if we had been taught to abide in Him, in those tough moments drawing especially close to Him, self control would have been evident and something we were blessed with, rather a goal to be reached when you tick the right boxes and were trying too hard. Thank you for this word today, and for turning my understanding on its head to help make sense of it!

  • Kasey Summers

    “Abiding in Christ’s power releases us from striving to muster up our own. In His presence we are free to move forward in grace and with courage, knowing that He is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).” LOVE THIS!! Self-control is given to us when we are ABIDING in Christ!

  • Antimony

    I try so hard to be disciplined- go to bed at this time, get up at this time, this many calories, this much exercise, punishing myself if it’s not perfect. But that’s not really what this is talking about. This is a deeper type of thing

  • Olivia Peacock

    Thank you so much for sharing! What a blessing this was today! :)

  • Really loved & needed this today! Thank you!

  • janessarenee

    GRACE.

    Every morning before I get out of bed, I get real with God:

    1) I have weaknesses, am far from perfect, and will probably mess up today.

    2) You accept my weaknesses and love me as I am.

    3) We are going to do phenomenal things today because your Holy Spirit is inside of me, giving your life-giving power.

  • A striving mentality is cultivated everywhere it seems. We tell our children to “do your best” and that “hard work pays off”. It is so hard to get out of that mindset. To “plug in” to the spirit instead of striving on our own.

  • Amen. loved this

  • michelle of LA

    Amen Debbie and loved your reading today

  • Thank you, Debbie! I just came back and re-read this so I could jot down these truths! This was life giving truth to see the image of the Soirit as a wall around me, I'm thankful He isn't subjected to my desires, that comforts me to know HE'LL get them in line! Praying I will learn to abide in Him that His fruit will come!

  • thekholtz

    I really needed to read this. God is currently working in re-building the walls around my heart & soul from some choices I have made in the past as a result of a lack of self-control. I still pray daily about this, but it is still so difficult for me. This is probably my biggest struggle and I still continue to battle with this with each week.
    I could really use some extra prayers in regards to this fruit of the spirit in my life.

  • Confusedandteachable

    Hello everyone, “The Spirit is a sort of wall, protecting our mind, heart and soul.”

    I have a question & hope someone can enlighten me. I thought the soul is the “mind, emotions (heart) and will? So why is the aforementioned statement in this article saying “mind, heart and soul” as if the mind/heart is separate from the soul? I have seen it written elsewhere, as well, and I am confused!

    Thanks for your help! :)

  • Samantha

    I'm not sure I've ever heard/seen a better series on the Fruit of the Spirit. This has been my favorite SRT series yet and I didn't expect it to be.
    Writers, thank you for speaking truth into my soul that it is not MY fruit, but the Spirit's that leads me…I need only remain in Him.
    <3

  • Sarah Farish

    Confession. I have been a Jesus follower since 1989. And I have been blogging and speaking since 2011. I study the Bible a ton because I just love it. I’m a total nerd. But. Somehow, in my heart, the fruits of the Spirit were measuring sticks for ME. Goals I needed to attain. Things I needed to work on. This mental checklist of “be more patient, have more self-control, love better, learn to be gentle, increase faith….” It’s because I’m a type-A doer – I think. But today- a moment in which I finally fully understood and could admit: These are not called Fruits of Sarah’s diligence and perseverance. These are fruits of the Spirit that can come only by Him. I can’t really convey my excitement and relief about this. It’s sent me on a quest to find more spirit verses :). Thanks, She Reads Truth!

  • If I have a favorite Fruit (?) it is certainly Self Control, with the distinction that it is (as pointed out here) the Spirit’s ability to help me overcome myself. Can we do anything well, good or with love, without Self Control?

    I don’t know about you, but I definitely struggle.

    This Fruit is the one I have (and still) devote the most prayer to: “Holy Spirit help me help myself, so I can bear all other kinds of fruit.” I almost see it as the largest supporting branch from the tree (Christ) that the other Fruit stem off of.

  • God knew what I needed this morning. My lack of self control started at 6:30 this morning as I was getting two of my kids ready for school and my oldest, whom I homeschool, woke up and was grumpy. Next thing I know I'm yelling at him because he is ruining my morning, I'm yelling at my husband who I think is not handling the situation with grace, and I'm yelling at my other two to hurry up because we gotta get to school!! Probably would have yelled at the dog if she had misbehaved too!! I know I have fears and anxieties about having $20 in our account until my husband gets his paycheck tonight and I am letting my stress out on everyone around me. I felt icky when my husband left for work and I am mad at myself for starting my children's day out with anger. Self control is the fruit of the Spirit abiding in me, but if I'm not abiding in Him I am not giving Him the power to work. Every morning in our house is messy and usually full of stress and angry words. I am tired of it and I want to taste this fruit n my life. I need prayer.

    • Crystal

      Nicole,
      I pray that the Holy Spirit reveals to you what to do and when to do it. As you begin to surrender your plans to the Holy Spirits leading then you’ll begin to see the fruit of the Spirit unveil in you. We must die to flesh to live in the Spirit. It’s not in our tireless efforts that we receive the fruits of the Spirit but in obedience to God. When God tells us to do or not to do something and we obey His leading and ACT on His word and not our self then we begin to bear His fruit: gentleness, kindness, patience, self control, faithfulness, goodness, peace, love and joy. God bless you and lead you!

  • Every single day in this Fruit of the Spirit study the word "ABIDE" has jumped off the page at me, picked me up and and set me down and said not to try but "ABIDE" . Stop, Be Still and Abide. REST in me! I hear you Holy Spirit and thank you! Thank you SRT!
    Love, Peace, Grace be with you!

    • Hesaved83

      SandyD,

      I have the same thoughts! Praise You Father, for allowing Holy Spirit to speak to my heart!!!

  • This is a perfect devo for me this morning. I have seen a root sin of control in my life a lot recently, forgetting that my growth is a work of the Spirit and not because I try harder. I saw the topic was self control and I thought to myself “oh good, I can learn how to better control myself. My eating, my exercise, my mind, my prayer and reading the Bible, my housework…” But then as I read today’s devotional all my control tendencies were exposed as I remembered that the key to self control is surrendering control to the One who is so much more capable and good than any best attempts I could ever make. Thank you Lord for showing my heart that surrender to your Spirit truly leads to peace, and freedom to be self controlled. Perhaps it should be called Spirit-control. Let us walk in that freedom today, together, as women of the Word. I so appreciate all of you on this journey with me!

  • Bullseye Debbie! Thank you. Elaine too, for the 2 Peter 1:3-4 reference. Have a knowingly blessed day everyone!

  • I was glad to read that I am not the only one who starts the day with good intentions and shortly there after fail. Thanks for sharing this pespective on self-control. I t reminds me that only through Jesus I can do all things.

  • I am blessed by this study and all of the insights from you lovely ladies this morning!

    Praying for you, Jess!

  • Thankful for this post today. Feeling so overwhelmed and defeated. A perfect reminder that He is my strength and refuge. To let go and allow the Holy Spirit to move in me and direct my life. Thank you.

  • Like many have said, I too struggle with trying on my own to be in control and beating myself up to try better next time. But as I was meditating on this morning's reading, I am reminded of a verse just before the fruits of the Spirit that reminds us that "the old sinful nature lives to do evil, which is opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting against each other, and your choices are never free from this cinflict." Galatians 5:17. The conflict will always be there but as we abide in Jesus, our ears, our mind and our heart are tuned into His and walking in His way becomes easier. My prayer for us is to abide in Him and as we do, to see the fruit in our life that comes from His power at work within us.

  • Safety lesson of the day–

    Unsafe = Pr. 25:28
    Safe = Ps. 46:1

    We do everything to make sure are children our safe, seatbelts booster seats etc. This is is how God makes sure His children are safe. He's given us a safety vest–if we put it (why do I ever take it off) on He will help us with self-control.

    We have so much help. We are not helpless because we have been given THE HELPER.

    Lord please forgive me for those time I've felt like there was no one there to help me, and I lost control.

  • When I think of self-control, I think about holding back when you want to tackle someone, but today I see it’s so much more! I have to let go of my own self and give my desires and heart to The Lord.

  • This struggle is ever present in my mind and heart recently. I love the call to relinquish all of who we are to Christ because through following the Spirit we will have true discipline. How beautiful the guidance of our sweet savior is. I am too often caught up in all the little compartments of my life or checklists for the day. Lord, teach me the discipline of resting in your lead for each day.

  • Abiding in Christ’s power releases us from striving to muster up our own……my favorite line! I tossed and turned all night long with anxiety of things that I feel need to happen in order for my life to be better. In reality, none of it is mine! The Lord will take care of me and meet my needs, but I have to release my worries to Him and abide in his power.

    Perfect read today! Thanks!

  • Oh how I lack self control. I would appreciate prayer sisters. I’m in such a struggle with social anxiety, generised anxiety, depression and bulimia. I was 13 weeks in recovery, but after a few hard weeks (best friend had a stillborn baby and other friends dying from cancer) I have fallen apart and can’t stop binging. I’m trying so hard and crying out to God, but nothing is working. Please help me God

    • Missy C.

      Father, may your great glory be seen in your work of reconciliation in Jess. I pray for total recovery… not the path of least resistance, but the path of greatest glory to you. Bind her heart to yours, comfort it in the way that only its Creator can. All power and glory and honor are yours. Amen.

    • Shannon Siegrist

      Praying for you now Jess. I am so sorry for all the loss you have faced.

    • Erin

      Oh, Jess! How well I know the hamster wheel you are on! Know that if possible, if I could meet you today, you would find an understanding hug and a friend to shed tears with you. You are not alone in your struggle! You have not fallen apart! "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philipians 1:6) Keep crying out for God to make things right, and know that He is a faithful God who is working in you even when you can't feel it, and who works until the job is finished. Whether you feel like you've done right or wrong today, you are accepted in His presence. 1 John 1:9 assures us that when we confess our sins to God (which, by the way, does not obligate us to sit in self-made guilt — remember who the accuser is — it is not our precious Savior!), he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. Always. In the peak of my own struggle which was/is not so different from yours, a wise woman counseled me to turn to God's Word at every possible moment of the day, to practice praying it in place of my desperate cries which seemed to produce nothing, to turn my eyes to things above rather than my seemingly insurmountable struggle here on earth. Read, read, read, and read again Psalm 31 today as you have the opportunity. Praise God for his goodness which he has laid up for those who fear him (Psalm 31:19). Praying for you today, sister!

    • Katie

      Praying for you, Jess. Praying that you will feel comfort and peace that can only come from Him. Praying that you will experience complete surrender and know that you are enough, only because He is enough!

  • myrosecoloredshades

    That morning scenario is way too familiar. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone! So true that our best efforts and determination will never be enough, only surrender to His plan.

  • I went to bed last night making a mental list of things I was not going to do today in order to have a "more accomplished" day. It included so many of things the lesson and items that each of you have mentioned in your comments. It was a long list but I was determined to "not do" those things that took me away from Bible Study, getting things done around my house, etc. And I wake up to this lesson this morning. God is so good. I feel as though He is telling me now, "Do it my way", it will be much easier that your way.
    Have a blessed day ladies!

    • hannah

      Hi Gayle, I can so relate to going to bed with the mental list, and waking up to that stress and distraction. A few years ago I discovered that the Bible has an alternative for us. Since so many women struggle with this, I created a short free PDF that explains it. You can check it out here if you're interested: http://hannahkallio.org/this-is-for-you/

  • This hit the nail on the head for me this morning – thank you for sharing your heart. When I started reading I thought ‘someone else who has a morning like me’. The biblical perspective on this fruit has opened my eyes – this entire series has. I’m going back and rereading and take notes.

  • smithwendy62

    I loved reading about your morning best intentions…that is such a truth to put our intentions aside and recognize what are His intentions for us today…

  • A fruit of the Spirit, not of my determination. Have gotten that reminder daily – and I need is that often if not more so.

  • "Scripture teaches that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, not a fruit of our determination… Self-control comes when I relinquish ultimate control to Jesus." These words remind me of Jesus telling us that His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He wants us to stop striving in our own works and rely on His Spirit to lead and guide us. Hebrews 4:10-11 tells us, "For whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his [on the 7th day]. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience."

    In our busy lives, may we all stop striving and "kicking against the goads," and simply be led where He wants us.

    • janessarenee

      Love The Message's translation of this scripture- learning the unforced rhythms of grace!!

      “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

  • Kelly_Smith

    Self-control, more than any other fruit, feels like it is more my responsibility than God's. I try to sprinkle self-control over my fruit basket. If I were more self-controlled, I would be kinder. If I had more self-control, gentleness would not be such a struggle. And so on, and so on. It is difficult for me to release my responsibility to allow the Spirit to do the work.

    Once again, growth in this area is dependent on abiding. "Abiding in Christ’s power releases us from striving to muster up our own." What does this look like when it comes to self-control? Consider this in terms of the running analogy Paul uses in 1 Cor 9. A runner does not come to the starting line depending on the shoes that are designed specifically for running. She does not consider the protein bar she ate for breakfast as her guarantee to win. It is not the outfit that will make her fast. It is not even the athletes around her. It comes down to this: PREPARATION. She comes to the starting line with confidence in her practice. It is the miles pounded out in the weeks and months leading up to this race. She knows she can finish because she trained for this exact moment.

    Carrying this analogy out to my spiritual life, it is not the props I carry around that give me self-control. I have a fancy planner that keeps my goals and tasks organized. Scripture hangs on the wall to make godliness look good. I run my race in community, depending on my small group for accountability. All of that is useless if I do not prepare. If I am not in God's Word, on my knees in prayer, hands raised in submissive, holy worship, all of the props of self-control are useless. I lay all of my efforts, all of my props, all of my pride on the altar this morning.

    • Amy

      Wow Kelly_smith….. Great analogy!!! Thank you!!! This study has really opened my eyes as I can relate to almost each one of you. I keep wanting to try harder. To do better. To control myself. I’m writing in my bathroom mirror today one word. •surrender• That is the key and I’ll leave it there until I get it through my thick skull. I cannot earn grace, it is a GIFT to be freely received. God bless

    • Amy

      Wow Kelly_Smith thanks for that super analogy! Love it! I can relate to almost each one of you as I find my self trying harder. I want to do better. Control myself. After this study Ive learned *PTL* that these are His fruits not mine!! I’m writing one word on my bathroom mirror today •surrender• that is the key. Abide in Him and the fruits will come. Not of my efforts. I’ll leave this word there until it gets through my thick skull. Staying in the word and thankful for SRT‼️‼️

  • "Abiding in Christ’s power releases us from striving to muster up our own." The other day I was in prayer over my relationship with my middle. As I indicated yesterday our relationship is one that suffers and I want to know exactly what to do. I found my patience was really limited with her and would give rise to a tone I didn't want to take. After prayer I heard, "How would I speak to you? How I would I speak to these children?" I was immediately humbled and have put this at the forefront of my behavior with her, with all three. It changed things for me, the day before yesterday was a challenge, but this is a continually refining, training process. I need to consciously practice putting Christ ahead of me, so that overtime, it becomes the natural habit, one without thought. I need to change me, so that the Spirit can lead. Remembering that I am a new creation also helps me to recognize those areas that I can do better. Humanly speaking, most people think to self control in a purely flesh form…i.e. do I eat the donut, do I give in to sin, should I say what I'm thinking, etc….. but I need to always see myself as not should I, but instead "I don't even want to" … knowing full well that it is within me to resist and put God first, to allow Him to lead me BECAUSE I am new, I am not the earthly person I once was. This is real freedom! I was overwhelmed by too much thinking the other day, which contributed to my mood, but God reminded me yesterday that I can handle what is on my plate, and whatever may be in the future. He gifted me an idea yesterday that gave me peace over my future and helped me to see that HE is in charge of me, my life, my "all things" … not man. That I have choices and the strength to withstand … I don't have to accept what man says, but only what God says, and so long as I let the spirit lead, so long as I remember I am in the race for the eternal gold, so long as I remember that my body houses God's own spirit, which gives me power, I am good, golden, running the race without looking back, moving forward, choosing the new me over the old me. Prayerful that when life leaves me feeling overwhelmed that I recall I'm spirit based, not flesh based … and that gives me freedom AND victory! ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Amen! Amen! Amen!!

      Prayerful that when life leaves me feeling overwhelmed that I recall I'm spirit based, not flesh based … and that gives me freedom AND victory!

      Yes! This is my prayer as well……many days have gone by that I have felt the crushing weight of it all…..but it is when I rest in Christ and remember that with Him, the yoke is easy and the burden is light that I have a joy and peace that defies all understanding……Praise The Lord!!!

  • carlybenson

    Thanks, this is great, and makes me think differently about self-control. It's not about striving to live a certain way or to reach certain standards but relinquishing control to Jesus and seeking to abide in him. "The Holy Spirit in us is not subject to our desires but rather he conforms our desires to Christ's will." I think too often even the goals I want to reach are not God's but my own and I pray for him to help me do what I want rather than really seeking what he wants but I think there's real freedom in letting go and handing it over to him.

    • Kelly_Smith

      Carly, that is such an important distinction–that my goals are my own and not God's. To make that switch taps into the power of the Holy Spirit. I needed this. Thanks :)

    • MNmomma (heather)

      This is exactly what I took away from this too…….such a powerful and much needed message….

    • Missy C.

      I feel like this is the theme throughout the whole study… we can´t produce this fruit– it´s the Spirit´s work.

      In keeping with that I looked at "The Spirit´s Work" in The Valley of Vision. If you have a moment, soak in this:

      "Increase my faith in the clear knowledge of
      atonement achieved,
      expiation completed,
      satisfaction made,
      guilt done away,
      my debt paid,
      my sins forgiven,
      my person redeemed,
      my soul saved,
      hell vanquished,
      heaven opened,
      eternity made mine.

      O Holy Spirit, deepen in me these saving lessons.
      Write them upon my heart, that my walk be
      sin-loathing,
      sin-fleeing,
      Christ-loving;
      And suffer no devil´s device to beguile or deceive me."

  • My comment has gone to be processed…lol…

    Just to say…good morning…Happy Thursday…Love..Tina..x

    • auntsandee

      I've missed you Tina and your wonderful comments…. Happy to see you this morning!!

      Blessings,
      Sandee

    • Kelly_Smith

      My comment is hanging out with your comment somewhere in the www. I hope they have a good discussion :) Happy Thursday to you, friend!

      • tina

        That is so funny Kelly…I feel like a naughty school girl!!!…but hanging around in cyberland, even if it is only by our comments, sounds a lot of fun…xxxxxx

    • MNmomma (heather)

      too funny!!!!! I am bummed that I am missing your comments this morning ladies….I always look forward to your insight…..God has definitely used you ladies to speak to me :) xo

  • We are so quick to take hold of our lives as soon as our eyes open….aren't we? The endless list of things to do….ah, or use our tongue in anger to curse, or abuse, when we are hurt by someone, or feel an injustice against us, or spend on things we want, rather than need….

    Being in this world, with its 'attractive temptations' is a dilemma in itself….but controlling ourselves is the difficult one….or does it have to be?

    As a work in progress, I can tell you about an area I have had problems with… Shoes…I love shoes as much as I love words…lol….Back in the day, I had shoes, shoes and more shoes..every colour, style, heels, flats, courts, brogues, straps, strappy….flip flops, flop flips,peep toes, closed front…you name it I had it…..I still like shoes, but I am in a better place now….maybe, because I have all I need, but I believe I am Spirit lead…to admire, but not own…I love that…I was in a big dept store the other day, and the entrance I walk into, was the shoe section, not on purpose, but here I was…So a girl has to do what a girl does best…Pray. I did, for self control!!!…I looked, I tried on, I admired…but guess what… I left empty handed…and I thanked God… as I walked away…I still have the love of shoes, just not important to own every pair!!!! Thank you Lord…Thank you..
    My mouth, used to get me into a lot of trouble, the rebel that I was would not allow me to walk by quietly if there was an injustice or hurt or harm to myself or a member of my family…but again, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I pray, I would be an example to all around…but as some of you may know and remember recently, I let the side down….the woman with the gentleness, kindness, love, peace, patience, joy of the Lord, had an issue with self control…I ranted and raved, with not very nice words …..but here's the thing….God loves me enough to convict me of my wrongdoing, and give me an opportunity to right my wrong…what did I do…? I stalled, for days I stalled…self control was out if control…in the end, five days later, I went to apologise to the people concerned…I

    am a child of God…and I will clothe myself with Jesus, from the inside out..the armour provided in the Spirit…I will try to walk as is expected of me, I will fall, I will fail.. but I will also rise because, by God's grace, and Mercy, and filled with the Spirit…I have hope…Self control can be a problem…But God, has given us His Spirit and that I believe is BIGGER than any issue we may have with control..Amen..

    Big hugs to you all…Happy Thursday..xxx

    • Kelly_Smith

      I am so glad your comment found it's way back home! I love the shoe story! As we exercise self-control, it grows stronger than our flesh.

  • Each day these Bible studies speak to my heart. This Fruit of the Spirit study makes me yearn for God and the Holy Spirit to be at work within me and for me to do great things, to be a better person and Christian. I find myself eager to wake up and go to the She Reads Truth website. When trying to apply this fruit to my life, even if I find myself faltering, I think back to the present day’s study or a previous day’s study and for God to speak to me. I’ve never felt so moved before. I can tell that this study is one that I will refer back to again and again even when a new study starts. A huge thank you to the ladies of She Reads Truth!! Excellent job!

    I have never thought of self control in this manner before. “Self-control comes when I relinquish ultimate control to Jesus…when we find our identity in Him, the fruit will come in abundance.” How perfectly worded. I find myself so often during the day saying or thinking “I messed up” or “I failed with my intentions of the day” when I should be turning to Him and seeking it as an opportunity to let the spirit be at work within me and to try again.

  • This is so good! And not what I was expecting for the study today. There have been so many days I have spent beating myself up because I didn’t meet my own unrealistic expectations. I fall into sin, or simply lack the discipline to “do the good things”.
    I’m missing the point! It’s about God! If I would only look to Him, in my everyday life and let go, God will do a work in me far greater than I could ever do on my own.

    2 Peter 1:3-4
    3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

    Thank you for this devotion! It’s just what I needed!

    • Kelly_Smith

      Elaine, those verses are a great addition. I want to beat myself up, but "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life." Love it!

    • Shirley Burkenpas

      Thank you all for your insights especially on this spiritual gift…I had Always been in Control, till convicted, FINALLY, I was in an erratic life, accomplishing nothing lasting in spiritual value…A control freak! I gave it all to Jesus Christ. PTL! What a difference! As expressed in this lesson, I realized the freedom to move in His Grace with unexplainable courage, knowing it will all be good…His Good as I submit. Others who know me, can not believe the "self-control" exhibited….I am still amazed myself! and to this I am truly Thankful for His leading, protection,and freedom that is everlasting and equipped by The Holy Spirit Power to bring about a gentle self-controlled spirit within me…Thank you Holy Spirit, I gladly give up my control for yours…freedom In Jesus Christ. "Try it, you'll like it" :)

      • MNmomma (heather)

        AMEN!!!!!!! I have also gone thru a similar transformation…….and have so much peace about things now. I'm not saying everyday is perfect, but my goodness, what a difference in my life to follow Him and HIS plan……not what *I* thought should be happening. What a blessing it has been!

    • Sandy

      "That through them(the precious promises)you may participate in the divine nature ", hmm, that bears meditating on…

    • Jennifer C.

      I love these verses in 2 Peter! Knowing that we have "all we need for a godly life" is very reassuring that it isn't just a shot in the dark or an impossible task. God's not hanging us out to dry! He's equipped us and is alongside us making it possible. Even when it seems like it isn't.

  • Of all the fruit of the Spirit, this is the one I misunderstood the most. When I heard it taught, self-control was always explained as control of our flesh. But that's not what the Bible is talking about. The word translated as "self-control" originally meant to hold your breath, or to hold back a wind. Breath and spirit share the same word in both Hebrew and Greek, so a more literal translation would be "Spirit-Control"!
    When the Bible talks about self-control, it's not talking about repressing something bad, it's talking about keeping something good in check until the right moment for it to be released. I Cor. 14:32 says our spirits are subject to our control, not to suppress God's work, but to express it in appropriate ways at appropriate times. That was such a life- giving realization for me.

    • JAD

      This was beautiful insight, Hannah! Thank you for it!

    • Juliet

      Hannah you are awesome!! All your study and insight the last few days was so interesting and helpful

    • justafiercelittlelion

      Wow! How neat to be "spirit-controlled". A reminder from God this morning. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jen Noricks, LMSW

      Thank you, Hannah! I just quoted you on Twitter. What a great insight.

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