Galatians 5:22-23 says:"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".
The Bible, New International Version (NIV) (bold and underline by me)
Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you believe the is a God "up there", you have to admit that these words, these attributes, would be pretty cool to have. Wouldn't it be amazing if the whole world would contemplate and grow these fruits in their lives? Life would be completely different, right? No wars for sure, no evil. But unfortunately, it's not like that.
As a Christian who grew up in a Christian home and repented of my sins and put my faith in Christ when I was 19, I have to admit with a lot of shame that these fruits are not as ripe as they should be. By now, you'd think I have years of walking in Christ, years of reading the Bible (not so consistent, which is the root of my predicament) I should have all these fruits down. Sure, I love, sure I am peaceful, but am I though? Am I always? Am I loving to my husband when he leaves the dirty plate on the table instead of in the sink? Am I promoting peace when I chose to slander a co worker than wronged me to another co worker just because I need to "vent"? Absolutely not.
This project started because I realized I have serious self-control issues. I lose it. Often.
I lose it mostly to my husband. Before I used to lose it to my mom and sister. You see, one allows itself to be angry and to express that anger in the wrong ways because we think we can. Because the stakes are not high enough. I can lose it to my mom because she'll never stop being my mom, or to my husband because I think he won't leave me. But I never lost it to my boss, because, of course, too much is at stake.
I don't want to make a long post but if you're interested in working through anger, if you feel like throwing plates off in the air, or scream or hit somebody, I recommend you read this book:
This book has been helping me work through a lot of things I was going through and ultimately understand that it's NOT ok to be angry and to sin. So I decided to work on 1 of these fruits, or attitude, whatever you chose to call them. May has been about self-control, temperance (I like that word). Sorry it took me so long to write the post as we're already past half way through the month. Initially I wanted to take pieces of this book but I decided it would be too long - maybe I will edit this tomorrow.
For now I wanted to show you one of the practical methods I implemented to stop myself when I feel I am losing control of my emotions and my reactions:
Wow, so crafty! :P
I put these cards on my bathroom mirror, on the wall in front of my eyes above the sink (this strangely is one of the places where ruminate angry thoughts, maybe because I dislike doing dishes). I put another card by my bed side lamp and another one on the refrigerator door, also to be reminded to have self control with food, lol.
I hope this can be an opportunity for you to start working through some circumstances in your life that you think are being destructive, if there are any.
Oh and yes, I am working backwards, it just so happen that the last fruit is self-control and I was working on this this month. So the schedule will be as follows:
August: goodness and kindness (and I will do my best to analyze why these aren't the same)
September: forbearance (patience)
I am sorry if I bore you with this, I realize this is more of an exercise for my own growth, but thought I'd share in case someone, even 1 person, is going through the same and needs encouragement.
So here's to May and to practice self-control. What are some practical ways that work for you to show temperance and self restraint in any are of your life?