A father asked his daughter, who spent too much time watching television, to begin memorizing Scripture. He chose the verses in Galatians concerning the fruit of the Spirit as a place for her to begin.
When she was sure she had reached her goal, she began to list the fruit of the Spirit to her Dad, "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and remote control!"
Instead of having to take responsibility for our actions and decisions, we think it would be easier for God simply to control us.
When it comes to the subject of self-control, many of us would like to dodge the issue. Maybe we would like to think there is a way to put our minds, wills, and emotions under God's "remote control." Instead of having to take responsibility for our actions and decisions, we think it would be easier for God simply to control us.
However, God has a more creative plan in mind, and in Christ, He has given us the ability to choose right over wrong and self-control over emotional impulse.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. . . . be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, . . . (Ephesians 5:15-20)
Don't set your heart on having a "remote control" attitude. Dig deep into God's Word. Learn what it means to be self-controlled. Pray that you will reflect His love and self-control to others whose lives are spinning out of control to encourage and strengthen them in difficult times.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are a gentle God, not a controlling God. Show me how to live by the Spirit You have so graciously given me. Help me take responsibility for my actions and live in the fullness of Christ so that You may be glorified. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"[M]ake every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control" (2 Peter 1:5-6).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon The Spirituality That Heals, Part 9: LISTEN NOW