There are 9 fruit of the spirit:
9. And self control
Interesting that self-control is listed last when for many people, me included, it is the most difficult to master. Of course, I suppose that depends on what item we’re trying to control. Steeling, killing, cussing, lying, becoming a workaholic…. Nah! None of those are difficult to master control over. But mastering self-control over other aspects can be very challenging. Areas like dieting or getting up early to exercise, or exercising consistently. Those items are much more difficult for me to master self-control over.
Galatians 5: 22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Backing up a bit farther, Gal 5:16-18 states, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
To me, its clear the fruit of the spirit are spiritual things/matters of the heart. So can we apply self control as a spiritual fruit to one’s own physical diet?
II Pet 1:6 says we are to practice self control in the face of temptation.
Titus 1:8 says self control is a characteristic of a spirit filled life.
So if I am filled with the spirit, which I am, shouldn’t exercising self-control be easy?
Of course, does God really care if I am 25 pounds over weight, when He looks at the heart and not the physical? God wants us to do the same, not showing favoritism to the rich and well dressed, but to the poor and weak.
See, it’s easy for me to go around and around, justifying and dismissing the importance of self-control over a measly 25 pounds. Which is probably why it is a battle. Does the fruit of the spirit really apply to this?
This is part one, as it’s a big subject. In the mean time, please feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear from fellow Christians.