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“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.”1


When we hear the hyphenated word “self-control”, the first thing that comes to mind is usually our temper or other anger issues. But self-control is a word that can be applied to many areas of our life where we tend to give too much time or attention. Whether it’s refraining from consuming too many sweets, using our time wisely and spending less time on our devices, holding our tongue in check when we don’t agree, or keeping our foot on the break when we are cut off on the road, we require self-control in almost every area of our day.


In Galatians chapter 5, verses 22-23, Christians are given a list of nine virtues that we are called to live out that serve as proof that the Spirit of God lives within us. Among these nine is self-control, mixed right in there with peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness. We aren’t to pick and choose which of those Christ-bearing fruits we want to live out today; we are called to live them all as one. Having self-control is one thing but having it while being joyful and patient is quite another! For this reason, God has granted us His grace to be able to say “NO” and hold back our big emotions, allowing us to live self-controlled lives.


Jesus is the greatest example of self-control we have. He had so many reasons to lash out in anger over the sins of the people; instead, he prayed for them. He had every reason to let us die in our sins, instead, He died for us. Jesus showed love to the unlovely and had patience for the impatient. He showed mercy to the undeserving, and he spent his free time in prayer. Learning to have self-control might start out by saying “no” to that second cookie or staying off of social media today; but learning to be like Jesus requires us to have it, in a loving, joyful and generous manner. Let’s practice by asking the Lord to fill us with self-control today!


Suggested prayer: Dear Lord, you gave up your life so that we might be able to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You have granted us an undeserving amount of grace that we, sometimes, withhold from others. Allow me to be filled with the fruit of your Spirit and have self-control in every area of my life. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


  1. Titus 2:11-12 (NIV).    


Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.