“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)
We have now come to the end of the devotionals entitled, “What’s on Your Tree? Bearing the Fruit of the Spirit.”
Our last fruit is temperance; the Greek word is “enkrateia”; self-control; a moderation in the indulgence of the appetites and passions.
We are called to exhibit this fruit of the Spirit in every area of our lives. The Child of God should have temperance, or self-control, with their finances, attitudes, and fleshly appetites, whether sexual or eating habits. We must have self-control when dealing with people, especially those who can be a bit obnoxious.
The Word of God has a lot to say about temperance. Let’s look at a few examples:
1 Corinthians 9:25a says, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things...” Although Paul is talking about running a race in the previous verse, there still has to be temperance in every aspect of our lives.
Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” We have to bring our flesh under subjection. We have to show self-control; otherwise our flesh will do whatever it pleases.
Proverbs 25:28, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” We have to maintain the government of ourselves and our passions and our appetites. We have to watch our thoughts, our words, and our desires.
Proverbs 14:29, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” We have to be careful to not let anger get hold of us. When anger and wrath set in, sin takes place; and afterwards we may regret what we have said or done.
Proverbs 21:23, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:5, to “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” We must always keep in mind who we are in Christ, and that others are always watching. Some are watching to see if what we have real; and others are watching for our haltings, our faults.
But whatever the case may be – we, as Children of God, must have self-control. All that we do, it must be done to the Glory of God:
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
We must have self-control over this flesh or it will get out of hand.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Romans 6:12)
When sin has preeminence, it takes you further than you want to go, keeps you longer than you would like to stay, and costs you more than you would like to pay.
We can bear the fruit of temperance in our lives.
In 2 Peter 1, the Apostle Peter gives us a list of things to add to our faith:
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” (2 Peter 1:5)
“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;” (2 Peter 1:6)
“And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1:7)
“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)
We have now concluded this series of devotionals on “What’s on Your Tree? Bearing the Fruit of the Spirit.” After concluding this study, can we say, with a clear conscience, that we are bearing the Fruit of the Spirit?
What’s on your tree?