But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.
Galatians 5: 22, 23
the 9th fruit. Temperance
don’t know about you, but when I try to list the fruits of the Spirit, I get
love, joy, peace, even patience and faith sometimes. The one I forget is temperance.
American society, where we want everything bigger and better, where we preach “doing
your own thing,” or “marching to the beat of a different drummer,” where we
preach tolerance for all excesses, temperance is an ugly word.
What is the definition of
New World Dictionary gives this definition: self restraint in conduct,
indulgence of the appetite; moderation
Cicero is quoted as defining temperance as the moderating of one’s desires in obedience
Lincoln said, “The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in
sucking the blood of genius and generosity.”
Temperance or, as we usually call it, self-control may be good, but it
doesn’t come easy. We all have our weaknesses, those things in which we
struggle, things that hamper our walk with Christ, limit our witness to others,
and trip us up when we need the Lord the most.
The problems I’ve battled most of my adult life are low self esteem,
roller coaster emotions, and compulsive overeating. I’ve encountered others who
deal with compulsive spending, out of control anger, hobbies that become their
brings you failure time and again in your service to God?
Is it your sharp tongue?
Is it fear, lack of trust?
Do you love sports so much, or shopping, or
the casinos that you allow those desires to take the place of God?
Are you having trouble forgiving someone, and every time you get around
them, resentment hits you in the gut?
Do you fight depression?
Does perfectionism hinder your freedom in Christ?
Temperance is a gift from God, a fruit
given by the Holy Spirit. Even our faith to believe comes from God. What makes us think it's our willpower or self control that will help us. I think our use of the word self-control confuses us.
Self control is self controlled by the Lord.
True willpower is our willingness to rely on God.
Relying on God
begins over again every day as if no progress had been made in the past.
Have you asked the Holy Spirit to bolster your gift of temperance? In what area do you need it most?