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Expressing the Fruit of the Spirit at Work: Self-Control

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

As we continue our monthly series on the fruit of the Spirit, instead of starting in order, I decided to tackle the fruit which I believe is one half of the foundation of the Spirit’s fruit, self control.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

(Galatians 5:22-23)

In the dictionary, self-control is defined as “the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behaviour, especially in difficult situations.” (Oxford Languages)

Another definition from Merriam Webster, “restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires” effectively shows the three areas in which we may need self control - impulse control, emotional control, and movement control.

As Christians, we are to emulate God’s characteristics as we navigate life, as we ask Him for His strength and Spirit's help in every problem we encounter.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control.”

(2 Timothy 1:7)

When we take a moment before acting in a stressful or difficult situation, we make room for the Holy Spirit to calm us enough to respond vs react. In this way, we can act in such a way that our impulse is curbed, our emotions are paused, and we move forward in the way in which God guides us.

When we exercise self-control instead of reacting in the workplace, we reflect God’s character and release it into the situation.

“Whoever is patient has great understanding,

but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”

(Proverbs 14:29)

Taking This to God in Prayer:

God, when I find myself facing situations at work which are stressful, help me to remember to invite Your Holy Spirit to guide me before I react. May You assist me to keep my emotions in check, tame the initial reaction on my tongue, and remind me not to leap into react mode. Instead, help me to implement the self-control You offer to react in a timely, professional and honouring manner. Thank You that You love to come alongside me in every situation in which I may find myself, as You guide me into the action which will give You the most glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

As this upcoming holiday season picks up speed and brings additional stressors in every area of our lives, especially at work, may we choose to respond with self-control as we bring God into each situation.

Karla Lees,

Guest Blogger, Christian Women at Work

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