Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance
Temperance: meaning self-control—control of one’s own desires and passions, especially carnal desires. The opposite of self-control is the inability to self-discipline. Meanwhile, the opposite of temperance is indulgence. When a person indulges in lust s/he cannot control themselves.
Don’t we all suffer the same problem of intemperance?
Does every professing Christian know that when one decides to believe in Jesus, s/he has already decided to give up their own flesh and lust? This means that we should resist flesh and lust, not use the freedom given by God to indulge the flesh. Temperance or self-discipline taught by Paul the Apostle does not imply asceticism. He did not practice self-discipline for the sake of it but to fulfill the mission entrusted by God, and he must have abandoned everything that could pose a hindrance to his mission.
Paul the Apostle practiced self-discipline to fulfill the mission entrusted by God.
The temperance or self-discipline taught by Paul the Apostle does not imply asceticism. He did not practice self-discipline for the sake of it but to fulfill the mission entrusted by God, and he must have abandoned everything that could pose a hindrance to his mission.
Temperance would only occur when you do things other than pursuing for your own good.
In Galatians 5:22-24 NIV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” According to Timothy Keller’s sermon via Gospel in Life,
“The fruits of the Holy Spirit work together. So while one side may develop faster in your life and the other side may be slower, in the end they will all link together. The fruit of the Spirit is attached. They are like rubber bands tied together that stretch to varying degrees without breaking. This is important because, as we will see later, you can develop temperate character, but such temperance is nothing but willpower and has nothing to do with love, joy, and equality of the fruit of the Holy Spirit . Such temperance is not out of love, joy, or peace.”
Keller believes that for Christ we as Christians practice temperance, and that temperance in the Bible is unlike that of the pagans. The idea of temperance is evident in the Bible, which is part of holiness and of great importance. However, it is connected with other aspects. Temperance does not mean that you do something for yourself according to the Bible. In fact, temperance would only occur when you do things other than pursuing for your own good. The more you focus on your own self, the harder you would try to live a disciplined life, and the less self-restrained you could be. Truly, temperance is the fruit of the Spirit, it is only when we let the Holy Spirit work in us and change us can we crucify ourselves and the world around us, and thus choose to walk in the way of the Lord’s will.
Lord! Have mercy on us. We ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be granted temperance, to rely on living in Christ to bear the fruit of temperance. In the name of the Lord, amen.
Written by Cheui Yi (At Will)