But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Self-Control
Of all the graces of the fruit of the Spirit, none are more essential than the last character of self-control. It is by this virtue that all others build upon and without the fortitude of ruling self, none of the fruits of the Spirit can be accomplished. Self-control is the engine that drives the heart to focus upon the will of God seeking to do His will above all else. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the dominion of keeping in check the precarious spirit of self is achieved. The spirit of man is a scheming heart that is easily attracted to the wiles of the devil. Satan uses the weakness of the spirit to gain control of the will of man tempting him with all the subtleties of evil. Sin comes about when self is left unguarded. The devil waits for the right moment to strike and when the guards of self are down he sweeps in. If there is no rule over the spirit sin comes easily.
Temptation is a process. Sin comes after desire has conceived and without the will-power to resist, sin takes hold. Resisting sin comes from the Holy Spirit filling the heart with the courage to resist temptation and through self-rule, reject sin. Self-control is learning to govern the unchecked spirit of man to be molded to the character of godliness but only when the power of God rules the heart. One of the hardest characters for man to tame is self. Like the tongue, it is an unruly evil. Only through the fruit of the Spirit can man learn to tame the disobedient heart.
Self-control is where the other fruits originate and where self-control is manifested. Love is a natural desire but it is also learned. Joy, peace and longsuffering are born from the control of the inner man. Being kind is exercising the passion of self to express kindness toward others. Filling the heart with goodness rises from the rule of self and finds its truest expression in action. Learning to be faithful is controlling the passions of the flesh and mind. Having a gentle spirit is tempered by conquering of the pride of life. Self-control finds its roots in all of the fruits of the Spirit. Each of the fruits is the unveiling of a rule guided by the will of the Holy Spirit. None of the fruits of the Spirit stand alone.
No man can stand as tall as he who guards self with the passion of God’s will ruling his heart, soul, mind and body. The lust of the flesh will be tempered and the pride of life will find no home. Self-control blinds the lust of the eye to see only the glory of God. Jesus is the perfect example of self-control as He lived His life without sin endued with the fruits of the Spirit. His example may never be mastered by human hearts but the goal of mortal man should be to exercise the fruit of the Spirit in controlling the unruly beast of self. With God’s help, it can be done.