Self-Control and the County Fair (Galatians 6)

“And watch that mouth!” my friend joked at the end of a message to me this week. He was joking, but only half-joking. He knows that my sharp tongue gets me into trouble. According to Galatians 5:22, keeping my mouth shut when it needs to be is part of my job as a Christ follower. It’s called, “self-control” and we all need it, perhaps now more than ever.

The idea of self-control is like a livestock show person. Our farm-family spent all last week at our county fair participating with lots of other kids who were showing animals that were many times bigger and stronger than they were. Though it seems impossible, children weighing 60 pounds were leading 1,400 pound animals around with just a small lead rope.

The good showers could make huge steers do all kinds of things that they wouldn’t have normally wanted to do- like walk in a perfect circle and setting their feet just right in front of the judge

Just like the show kids at our county fair had control over animals that were stronger than they were, we can have control over ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit. What do you need control over? Is it your critical spirit, an addiction, your temper, or controlling your tongue like me?

Or do you need to be self-controlled enough to start doing something that you know you should be doing? Do you need to be more faithful in prayer or finish that Bible study you started or be disciplined enough to get up early enough to be on time to the two-year old Sunday School class that you volunteered for?

Bad habits and addictions may seem so overwhelming that we will never be able to manage them ourselves. Maybe we rationalize that we can never change because we’ve always been this way. That’s not what the Bible says. The Bible tells us that when we come to Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in us, we are a new creation being transformed into the image of God. One of the evidences of this is a life that is under control.

I’m trying to take my friend’s advice by praying that the Holy Spirit will give me more self-control over my tongue. How about you?

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Reading Plan–Week Thirty-Four

Day One–Galatians 4
Day Two–Galatians 5
Day Three–Galatians 6
Day Four–Ephesians 1
Day Five–Ephesians 2