The 'Fruit of the Spirit' - Self-Control

This is a big one..... Self control! Where do you start with this? Having self control in any area of life is important. With no self control we can be quick to anger, judge, say hurtful things, have fowl language, steal, get overcome by sexual pleasures....you name it, self control would be a key factor.
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdomBut if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. - (James 3:1-18) (NLT) 
This pretty much paints the picture of how important self-control is. I love the verse found in Matthew
"And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend,‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? - (Matthew 7:3-4)  
What we tend to do every day is say words, judge others, get angry and frustrated and think nothing of it. But when someone else says something that we find hurtful, or if we see someone acting in a way that is not right, we are quick to get on their case about what they're doing wrong or even worse we are quick to speak badly of that person behind their back.

The key point with self control is that where we have slipped up in the past and said and done things that are hurtful, wrong and also downgrading to ourselves, we get to that place where we recognise those moments where we have fallen short in our speech and actions, so that when these situations arise where we could potentially slip up, we have the self control not to fall short but be the best that we can be.

This is where the rest of the 'Fruit of Spirit' come in. When we have self-control then we start acting in the ways that I've written about in previous blogs: -

When we are not hateful, we are Loving.
When we don't get ourselves down with where we are in life but live for the moment, Joy fills our hearts.
When we don't let ourselves be troubled by everyday situations but trust in God, we receive Peace.
When we are not quick to anger, we are Patient. 
When we think of others and not just ourselves - Kindness. 
When we stop to help someone instead of ignoring someone in need - we are sharing Goodness.
When we are loyal, trustworthy, and steadfast and humble to God, we shine Faithfulness.
When we are not harsh in words but calm and collected in our approach, we are full of Gentleness.
And when we do not slip into temptation but stand back and consider the options, we have Self Control. 

Each segment of the 'The Fruit of the Spirit' is key to our walk in our everyday. Though good individually, if we are thirsty for all the things highlighted above and follow these through in our everyday, then not only will we feel better and more fulfilled from it but God will use us to a far greater potential than we can even comprehend.

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