Our final featured fruit: SELF-CONTROL.
Right before the Bible lists the fruit of the Spirit, it spells out in graphic detail the “fruit” of our uncontrolled sinful selves: drunkenness, sexual immorality, idolatry, hatred, rage and various other forms of discord, dissension and debauchery.
What’s the antidote? A Spirit-filled self-controlled life. The Bible says that instead of getting “drunk” on what this world has to offer, we should instead be “filled” with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) Put another way, we need to be “under the influence” of the Spirit at all times.
How do we stay under the Spirit’s influence in this chaotic world? The Bible says to “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7 NASB). But don’t be confused. Christian discipline isn’t about gritting your teeth and gutting life out. The Christian life should be filled with JOY.
In his excellent Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney outlines basic activities to help us avoid the world’s temptations and keep in step with the Spirit, including:
- Silence and solitude
Want a good role model for all of the above? Follow Jesus. That’s His life in a nutshell.
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