Devotion for November 12, 2023

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Are you self-controlled, or a controller? Let’s find out. Controllers blame things like the devil, people, or circumstances for their problems and respond by blaming, resenting, or projecting frustration. They manipulate people and circumstances to their own advantage. But it doesn’t work; their attempts intensify their pain and turn their relationships into power struggles. The more they try to control, the worse they feel; and the worse they feel, the more they try to control. God doesn’t want you to live that way.

The self-controlled understand that the devil can do nothing to you without your cooperation, and you don’t have to give it (see Luke 10:17). They understand that people and circumstances aren’t the problem either — how we deal with them is. So, they respond by reminding themselves of three things:

  1. The person I need to control is myself.
  2. Sometimes I must turn people and circumstances over to God and allow Him to deal with them.
  3. I must draw daily on the Holy Spirit’s power in order to control my reactions and follow the “sound mind” principles of Scripture for staying in charge of my life (see 2 Timothy 1:7).

As a result, the self-controlled avoid engaging in blame games, self-inflicted pain, and turning relationships into battle zones. Knowing that “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives … self-control,” they understand that the Spirit won’t control them, or help them to control others, but He will empower them to control themselves. Spirit-empowered people are freed from being part of the problem and become part of the solution.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me stop trying to be a controller and learn self-control and trust You in all circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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