When I was little, I loved to listen to records. (Still do!) One album that my cousins, siblings and I wore out as kids was called Music Machine. It’s a kids’ record with songs about the fruit of the spirit. I can still sing many of them (though I’ve long forgotten our “choreography”), and one in particular has been popping up a lot lately in my mind: “Self Control.”
In this song, the singer sings about stubbing his toe because he was so frustrated with a knot in his shoelaces or getting a toothache because he would rather eat candy than brush his teeth. Even as an adult, I can still identify with those, but there are so many MORE areas now where I realize how much I need God to tend to that struggle in my life. You know, things like:
-Sticking to a budget (not throwing all those cute, perfect “dollar” items at Target into my basket)
-Maintaining a healthy eating plan (not giving in to that really tempting sweet tooth when I pass the office candy jar)
-Holding my tongue (not getting easily caught up in gossip or “venting”)
-Remaining calm when someone cuts me off in traffic (NOT honking the horn at them and getting frustrated)
“Listening to my heart and doing what is smart” is not the easiest thing to do. It’s FRUIT. It takes time for God to do His good work in us. But that’s the beauty of it – GOD is at work! I know it’s called “SELF control,” but I’ll never be able to stop being frustrated on my own. I won’t suddenly be “cured” of my love for chocolate chip cookies over celery. But, I can choose to lean into God in those moments of weakness and allow Him to be my strength.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13