Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
An athlete who is not disciplined and one who has no self-control cannot be a successful one. Athletes have to deny themselves; they have to practice self-control because they are focused on a prize, and they have a goal that they must accomplish.
Ironically, some of us have no self-control but we have become experts at controlling others.
The fruit of self-control by the Holy Spirit enables us to live a disciplined life, a life that is focused on pleasing God and not gratifying the desires of the flesh. The bible tells us that the flesh is constantly wedging war against the spirit and in turn what you feed grows. Without the fruit of self-control we will consistently feed the flesh and give in to its cravings and desires and such a life can never be pleasing to God.
We see athletes cross the finish line in first place and win millions in prize money and we wish we were like them. Truth is some of us could be better than them but we never took the time to practice, discipline ourselves and practice self-control and thus we are stuck where we are today with all sorts of baggage.
We can all practice a measure of self-control but with the help of the Holy Spirit we are equipped to do so much more in order to fulfill the purpose of God for our life.
I have seen men and women who have no relationship with God practice self-control and go on to do amazing things that would impress a lot of people. How much more us who know God? How much more us who have been empowered by the Holy Spirit whose fruit should be evident in our life? We have a boost through the Spirit of God who lives in us and thus we should be able to do even more.
In what areas of your life do you need to practice self-control? Is it in your emotions, desires or actions?
An athlete keeps their eyes on the finish line, they keep their eye on the trophy which is perishable and they do what needs to be done to gain it. What are you focused on?
1 Corinthians 9:25 (AMP)
25 Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a [a]crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither].