In the Christian life, we are repeatedly called to live in self-control. Now typically when we think of self-control, we think of it as restraining ourselves or abstaining from something. This is a completely valid application of self-control, and is very helpful. This might be called, more precisely, self-denial.

I think that self-control has another aspect to it — that we also make ourselves do something we ordinarily would not do. There is self-control to stop doing things, and a self-control to start doing other things.

Our natural state does not want to read scripture or pray. However, we must make ourselves do these things. As those who have been saved, we must pursue these activities, since our flesh will fight against us in this endeavor. It’s always easier to not do it.

As God’s people, He has given us His Spirit to work mightily in us to do not only the things I mentioned earlier, but all the fruits of the Spirit.

As you control yourself to do these things, realize this: self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Give glory to God when He gives you victory in self-control through His Spirit!