In the creation of the new humanity in Jesus we read that self-control is of the fruit of the Spirit. It is a self-control that is characterized by love. The self-control extolled by the world is not akin to the love of the Spirit. It is more akin to a heroism in which might wins. But in Jesus we are called to a love which is in the way of the cross. And we are called to live in that love. To grow in it. Day by day in relation to others.
Often we run into that which is screaming for our attention in different tones, pitches and volume. We think we need to correct it, and maybe we are part of that solution, but we can err in taking matters in our own hands. Err in lacking love, in not really taking the way of the cross in Jesus. To be able to help correct a matter, and to do so in the way of love is desirable. Yet it may not be our place, or the time to do so.
Love must be at the forefront, indeed the very atmosphere of self-control. It is, in the self-control which the Spirit brings.
Sometimes in the mess of life, to simply bite our lip and continue on, knowing we don’t have all the right thoughts or attitudes, yet seeking to do what is right by God and by everyone–is most desirable. We could wish for a love which can gently take any matter in hand, and can be a help to everyone always. But we’re going to have to grow into that kind of love. And that kind of love won’t always be accepted. Though through it God’s love in Jesus is made known.
This self-control of the Spirit is coupled with knowledge. And wisdom. We aren’t taken back by what we see, because we understand that it is in the nature of things, in the nature of people, and if we are open to see this: in the nature of ourselves. But we learn the new way in Jesus. And in that way there is self-control. Seeking to keep God in the center as we learn in Jesus our part.