Self Control and Gentleness – A Lesson in Humility

The last of the Fruit of the Spirit are gentleness and self control.

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:24-26

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28

Our calling is to be gentle to everyone, not just our friends and family.

Usually, I am upset at drivers who cause traffic issues. One day, my family and I were driving down the highway and we saw an elderly man trying to lug his spare from the trunk. I was going way too fast to stop and help, so I drove on, and vocalized how sad it was.

By the time I reached the next exit, I resolved to go back and help. I took the exit and doubled back. By the time I got there, another man was changing the tire. Once finished, they needed air in the spare. The other guy said he had to go and gave them directions to the gas station. I told them I had nowhere to be, so I led them. The couple tried to pay us both, but he outright refused. They insisted on paying me and I asked them to give it to charity if they felt inclined.

I tell that story not to achieve accolades, but to point to the Holy Spirit. None of those actions are in my nature. I am a selfish, vindictive, spiteful creature. I don’t stop and help anyone, and I get angry about being put-out. Nothing but God could have changed my will that day, and He did.

Gentleness and self-control go hand in hand.

They are the last to master because the are completely against the nature of sinful beings. We want what we want, and we don’t want to exercise patience to get it.

As you grow in faith, these fruits will grow in you, even when you do not expect it! Rejoice that God has seen fit to share these with us even though we do not appreciate the as the will help introduce God’s Kingdom onto Earth as it is in Heaven!

“To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” – Titus 3:2

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Faith and Goodness – Both are Necessary when Following God

Faithfulness and goodness, while mutually exclusive, are linked. To be good without having faith is meaningless, and faith without goodness is a fruitless.

Faith and Goodness

Faithfulness and goodness, while mutually exclusive, are linked. To be good without having faith is meaningless, and faith without goodness is a fruitless.

“The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” – Matthew 12:35

“And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.’ ” – Luke 12:42-44

Good is Good, but Meaningless

No one will argue that being good in life is a good thing. If you have no faith in God and His plan, you are being good for goodness sake and not for the sake of God. Your goodness may bless the life of another. You’re not blessed if you lack trust to give the glory to God. Either get your kudos on earth for your good deeds, or you can store them in Heaven. If you have no belief in Heaven how can you store them there?

Faith is Never Meaningless

Faith is the belief in things not seen. We trust fallible chairs all day every day, but cannot believe an infallible God who is always true and just. Why will we believe in inanimate objects and not the creator who animated us? Faith is the cornerstone of any belief, and we all choose who we will serve. Will you serve a being or object of this world, or the God who made them all possible? To paraphrase Joshua, Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:10

Love is All You Need – Or is it? The First of the Fruit of the Spirit

Paul listed the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit in a specific order for a reason. They are the order in which we experience them. Love is the first of the fruit of the spirit. It is the cornerstone of the life God calls us to live.

The Fruit of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

In the last devotional, I mentioned fruit of the spirit. The verse above describes the manifestations of the fruit. I will attempt to explain each over the next few days.

The Order of the Fruit of the Spirit

Paul listed the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit in a specific order for a reason. They are the order in which we experience them.

Love is the first of the fruit of the spirit. It is the cornerstone of the life God calls us to live.

Feelings…Nothing more than…

Many think of it as an emotion to be felt. While you can feel loved, love itself is a verb. It takes work and effort. The notion of “falling in” and “falling out” of love is garbage psychology. “Falling in” usually involves lust or describes an emotional bond formed between two parties. “Falling out” describes someone unwilling to work on a relationship. It takes work, and it takes effort.

Not all love is romantic. Eros is the Greek word for romantic. Philos is Greek for brotherly. Agape is the Greek word that describes unconditional. This is how biblical figures call us to love one another.

The Greatest Commandment is Love

Do not use the word flippantly. It is what God calls us all to do to each other. Let us all learn to display The Greatest Commandment ourselves.

“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’ ” – Matthew 22:34-40