The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23
Scripture reading: Galatians 5:1-15
Self-control has many edifying virtues:
Self-control does not get ahead of itself. When people are out of control, they get ahead of themselves and God. Not controlling ourselves within the bounds of marriage is an example of getting ahead of ourselves. Commitment is supposed to come before consummation between a man and a woman, but when consummation comes before commitment, we have turned the order of marriage upside-down. Pre-marital sex is wrong, as God declares because it is a chaotic act; it goes against God’s order and when we go against God’s order, life gets complicated.
Self-control is the expression of the liberty of the new life in Christ. All the works of the flesh, found in Galatians 5, are acts against self-control because they all seek to satisfy our sinful selfishness.
Christian freedom, on the other hand, asks, “How can I please God and others by way of self-restraint?” Christian freedom is not meant to take us out of control, but to put us in control of ourselves so that God is pleased in the process. Self-control expresses the liberty we now have as servants of Christ.
Suggestions for prayer
As you hear the gospel today in worship, pray that the Lord might grant unto you the insight from His word to put God’s timing before the temptations of mere momentary satisfaction.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.