Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Witness in the Spirit: Self Control

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God… (2 Timothy 1:7, 8 NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, 23 NIV)

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28 NIV)

We have all seen or participated in witnessing situations where the Christian has not exhibited self-control. He has gotten loud or angry or annoyed, and this annoyance has shown. To have power without love is awful. To have power without self-control is tragic…disastrous. It is power that keeps us from being timid or ashamed of Jesus Christ. Self-control keeps us from acting in ways in which we should be ashamed.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Self-control is aided by (1) confidence in the Lord and His Word, and (2) preparation in knowledge of the Word. Most situations where self-control is lacking occur when the Christian is caught not knowing the answers. Consequently, he raises his voice to get false authority.

God has given us a spirit of power, love and self-control—self-control to keep us from acting in shameful ways as we share the Good News.

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