The Good and the Bad of Self-control

It`s right for us to pursue Holy Spirit restraint of our worldly passions: this is godly self-control and good fruit. But we need to be careful of soulish suppression of a wounded and distressed human spirit, which many of us have experienced: this is ungodly self-control, deeply divisive and damaging within the whole of our being.

The divine protocol intended within our bodies is that the Holy Spirit should be welcomed to direct our human spirit, this then constraining the soul and body to reflect the will of God. However, the deeply painful experiences of life can cause us to war against such godly order within us, even as followers of Jesus. Our sensitive human spirit has inevitably been hurt by the issues of life and, for many of us, we seem to prefer the familiar comfort and protection of our own soul rather than apparent exposure to the unfamiliar will of God.

This carnal inversion of rightful control within our lives may be lauded by others as a fine ‘stiff upper lip’, but it simply crushes an already hurting heart, and leaves unresolved the wounded places that God so longs to heal. We are called to respond to our loving Heavenly Father as little children, unsophisticated in our ability for self-preservation. This requires, for many of us, a significant rethink on how to do life, being able to let go and let God. What an adventure!

Prayer: Father, help me to recognise when self-control in my life has strayed into soulish suppression. I want to let You truly be Lord and discover the fullness of this precious Holy Spirit fruit. Amen.


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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23, NIV


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Today's Writer

David Cross David is part of the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries, with particular responsibility for the Ellel centres in Western Europe. He is married to Denise and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. David has been a civil engineer and ski-touring instructor in the Highlands of Scotland. He is passionate about the teaching and practice of the healing and deliverance ministry of Jesus and has written several books: Soul Ties, Trapped by Control, God’s Covering, The Dangers of Alternative Ways to Healing(co-authored with John Berry), an A to Z Guide to the Healing Ministry, and, most recently, What`s Wrong with Human Rights? You can follow a daily thought from David on Twitter: @dmcross62

David Cross

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