What we witnessed during the Nike Shoe Riots of 2011, in the past five days, not just a complete breakdown of decency and humanity....but a glaring lack of SELF-CONTROL. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that "God did not give us a spirit of timidity (or fear) but of love, power and SELF-CONTROL". Self discipline and personal responsibility are gifts from God to ALL human beings! God has written His Law in the hearts of ALL mankind. Some just can't read it because their hearts are not right!
Also Galatians 5:23 tells us that one of the Fruits of the Spirit is self-control. The only people who even possess the Spirit are those who are saved and called to the elect as children of God in Christ. In light of all of this, my friend Evinda Lepins, author and conference speaker, has a very nice take on Self-Control or Temperance, as we get close to winding up yet another beautiful Christmas season!
Did you know that in translations of long ago, the word “self-control” was translated as temperance? The explanation for the word change is this: “The various gifts given by God” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness – “to us are capable of abuse.”
Now let me clear that up a bit!
The right use of temperance/self-control requires the controlling power of your will under the operation and guidance of the Holy Spirit. In other words, it’s a surrendering and letting go and letting God, just like we talked about in the gift of faithfulness. See, when trying to do something within our own power and not under His power, we are either going to run into ourselves or run out of ourselves.
Here’s another really cool thing to understanding self-control/temperance: When we exercise temperance/self-control, this is our response to HIS Spirit. It suggests, not assumes, that what is learned must be put into practice.
And finally, self-control/temperance is the outer protective layer of all the other fruits, aka, gifts! Just like all fruits have a protective layer, so do the gifts. Some protective layers are thick; some are thin; some are soft, and some are hard, but the point is they protect the sweetness of the fruit/gifts within.
I don’t know about you, but I think that is so divinely ordered! Temperance to you, my friend!
(image by bing images)