One of my teachers at Ravencrest said that the Fruit of the Spirit are not goals to work toward, they are thermometers of the Spirits work in us. When we allow the Spirit to work through us, not quenching it’s work, the Fruit will show itself without any concious thought of it.
Self-control is one of those fruits and I’m not sure whether that is comforting or disconcerting. I struggle with self-control. It may not seem like a struggle outwardly, but I see so often that the actions that look like self control in my life are really just guilt-driven. It’s easy for me to take steps to avoid temptation in the moments I have fallen to that temptation.
Is it self-control if the only goal is to avoid feeling rotten? Is it coming from the Spirit if it has such practical motives?
There is a story another teacher told:
I go down a road with a hole in it. I fall in the hole. It takes me hours to get out.
The next day I go down the road again. Again I fall in the hole. Again it takes hours to get out.
The next day I go down the road again. Again I fall in the hole. This time I can get out quickly.
The next day I go down the road again. This time I avoid the hole.
The next day I go down a different road.