“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” (Gal. 5:22–23).
The book of Titus gives several reasons for exercising self-control:
“You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say aboutus” (Tit. 2:1–8).
You may know of witnessing situations where the Christian did not exhibit self-control—perhaps he got loud or angry or annoyed, and his annoyance showed. To have power without love is awful. To have power without self-control is disastrous. Power keeps us from being timid or ashamed of Jesus Christ. Self-control keeps us from acting in ways of which we should be ashamed.
Most witnessing situations where self-control is lacking occur when a Christian is caught not knowing the answers. Consequently, he raises his voice to get false authority.
Self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit. It is aided by confidence in the Lord and His Word and by preparation in knowledge of the Word. God has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-control to keep us from acting in shameful ways as we share the Good News.
“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” (1 Pet. 2:15).
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if foolish men were silent and no one maligned the word of God because they had nothing bad to say?
*Excerpted from Weapons & Tactics. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.
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