Joshua 1:8 (VOICE) Let the words from the book of the law be always on your lips. Meditate on them day and night so that you may be careful to live by all that is written in it. If you do, as you make your way through this world, you will prosper and always find success.
We start today’s devotional with a little quiz. Without flipping back to the text from previous days, I want you to list the eight attributes of the fruit of the Spirit that we have discussed so far in the spaces below. Why is this important? You need to know what you have deposited on the inside of you by the Spirit of God. So that you can flow and not struggle through life. So, go ahead, unto yourself be true and give it a shot. Gal. 5:22-23 “ But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: ________________, ________________, ________________, _______________________, _____________________, _______________________, _______________________, _______________________, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” The lesson for us here is this; if God is putting a scripture before you consistently, pay attention to it. Get that Word on the inside of you and keep it there.
Yesterday, we looked at Gentleness, the eighth attribute of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Remember, it is fruit not fruits; once you have the fruit you have the fruit – complete! James 3:17 “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 the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James shows us that when it comes to gentleness, God’s heart is, for us to be gentle at all times and not just sometimes. Gentleness means being willing to yield to others. Interestingly, some people just hate yielding. But the fruit that you have requires that you yield to others.
The ninth attribute of the fruit of the Spirit is Self-control. Self-control means bringing yourself under control. Prov.29:11 “A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back” (NRSV). Have you seen someone that insists on “saying his or her mind”? That is a fool. Or are you familiar with statements like; “I need to let you know …”, or “I just did that because I was angry. I am not usually like that. But when I am angry, I can break things”. That is a fool. The unfortunate thing is, we are not absolved, we are in this together. Self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit meaning, you have the capacity to control your emotions.
I feel like slapping you, but I bring myself under control and I do not do it. The challenge with a lot of domestic abuse cases, both verbal and physical abuse, is self-control. In marriage, there is always that point where one person feels like slapping the other person. As long as it is a marriage of two human beings, it is unavoidable. As long as you are married to a human being, you will get to that point where your self-control will be tested. It may not necessarily be a slap, it could be that you feel like abusing the person, or telling the person off, or lashing out at your spouse. You are human and it does not make you a bad person. Yet the question is what have you done with it? Through the power of the Holy Spirit, control yourself. You can ask God for help.
Prayer: Lord, teach me to be peace loving, gentle at all times, always willing to yield to others, full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds, bringing myself under control, in Jesus Name. Amen!