"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22-23 KJV).

We all need temperance. The word temperance means self-control. It is not God-control; it is self-control.

A lot of people say, "I just can't help myself." Yes you can. If you are born again, you have the fruit of temperance, and the ability to control your actions and even your thoughts.

You activate temperance when you cast down every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. You have the ability to control what is between your ears. The question is not whether you can, but whether you want to. It's up to you.

Self-control is both passive as well as aggressive. There are things that you can keep yourself from, and things you can partake of, without excess. Paul said, all things are lawful but not all things are expedient. It said whatever we do, do it with moderation.

For example, God is the one who gave us food. Food isn't of the devil; food is of God. But if you don't control yourself where food is concerned, it can turn from being a blessing to a curse. You can become like a waddling duck - anybody can. That goes for just about anything.

Now, God is the one who gave us things. God gives us richly all things to enjoy. God is not against you having things, He is against the things having you. There is a difference.

But you can get out of control where things are concerned. You can start accumulating things for the sake of accumulating things, and you can come to the place where you bankrupt yourself running after things. That is lack of self-control.

That is why there are some people who should never own a credit card. They have no temperance operating in their life. If they see something, all of a sudden the flesh rises up and says, "I've got to buy it." Then after they've done it, as soon as they walk out the store they go, "Why did I do that?" They know that thirty days from now there is going to be a fight in the household.

So please, help yourself and go God's way, the way of temperance. His way always leads to peace in your life.

Study References: 1 Tim. 6:17; 2 Cor. 10:5; 1 Cor. 6:12 b

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