WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTROLS OUR LIFE, HE PRODUCES SELF-CONTROL.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Galatians 5:22-25.
Verse of the Day: “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Joe and Lisa watched the scene together with amazement.
A man stood on a small stage in the middle of the mall. He held the leash of a German shepherd, which sat erect on the man’s left side. The man held up a dog biscuit and showed it to the crowd. Then he balanced the biscuit on the dog’s nose. Biscuit and dog remained motionless. Finally, the man barked a command. In one swift motion, the dog flipped the biscuit and caught it in his mouth.
“Cool!” said Lisa. “Did you see that?”
“Yeah,” Joe answered. They started walking again toward the music store. “I know some people who can’t sit still as long as that dog did!” Joe said.
Lisa smiled. “Yeah, like you! You probably can’t balance a dog biscuit on your nose, either.”
Joe laughed. “Depends on how hungry I am!”
They fell silent for a few moments as they walked through the crowded mall. “I do wish I had more self-control,” Joe said seriously.
“Like what?” Lisa asked.
“Like everything,” he said. “Like eating, like doing my homework, like getting along with my parents. Maybe I should go to that guy’s obedience school.”
Lisa thought for a few moments. “You don’t need obedience school,” she said. “You just need the fruit of the Spirit.”
“The what?” Joe said.
“The fruit of the Spirit. Remember that verse in the Bible that talks about the fruit of the Spirit? Self-control is one of them.” She shrugged. “You just need to let God’s Spirit control you, and then he’ll produce the self-control you need.”
“How do I do that?” Joe asked.
“You just . . .” Lisa paused. “You know how a song gets in your head, and you find yourself singing it even when you’re not thinking about it? It’s sorta the same thing. Only instead of playing a CD every morning, you pray and ask God to control you throughout that day. You sorta listen to the Spirit’s song. Then he’ll produce fruit in you even when you’re not thinking about it.”
Joe nodded with understanding. “Tell you what,” he said. “I changed my mind. I don’t need to buy a new CD today. Let’s go find the Christian bookstore instead.”
TO DISCUSS: In what area of your life do you need to exercise self-control? How can you let God produce self-control in your life this week? What “fruit” has the Holy Spirit produced in your family members’ lives during the past week?
TO PRAY: Pray about those areas in which you need self-control. Then thank God for answers to prayer.