Self-Control!

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with selfcontrol than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32 NIV

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks selfcontrol. Proverbs 25:28 NIV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Galatians 5:22-24NIV

Having the ability to control one’s environment establishes a pathway to peace and order and success. Before a person can control their environment, they must begin with exercising self-control in all things at all times. This is a measure of Holy Spirit living within.

Starting with the first verse of scripture reference–let’s look at disciplined warriors. A patient person takes the time to think beyond the moment and establishes strategies to reach a goal, with contingencies for the unexpected, and they complete each step determined needed in order for their strategy to be successful.

An undisciplined warrior–one who is prone to make more noise about what they want to do, but never stops ranting long enough to create a proven strategy to accomplish anything, creates havoc along the way because they don’t anticipate the unexpected.

The second scriptural reference points out that the person who lacks self-control is like a person who breaks through the city walls–huffing and puffing–but has no idea what to do once they get through the wall. The person who exercises self-control has studied the situation and determined what’s on the other side of the wall, before making attempts to get through it so they’ll be ready for any event they encounter.

Now, the evidence–the benchmark or standard–of a person being filled with Holy Spirit and allowing Him to guide in all things is self-control. When we allow Holy Spirit to guide us–and not depend on our own “great brains,” those who are watching us see that we belong to Jesus because we do not allow our flesh to dictate what we do. We do not rant and rave over insignificant events, we do not allow our egos to get in the way of doing anything, we do not provoke others with half-truths and innuendo that attempt to make us look superior to others. This is the evidence of belonging to Jesus Christ. And if we say we belong to Jesus and are not capable of exhibiting the evidence of being filled with Holy Spirit–we lie. If we lie–we reveal Satan is our father.

I’ve always thought it interesting that the evidence–the fruit of having Holy Spirit within–always starts with love and ends with self-control. Everything else–joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and goodness–becomes a part of who we are and how we treat others.

So, if we want people to know where we are in Christ–we must allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all things as learn how to love and act with self-control. We don’t need to tell people to whom we belong, our actions speak much louder than words.

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