Keep the Chocolate ©

Devotion for June 10th, 2009

Love never fails. Joy cometh. Peace rules. Patience waits. Kindness tenders. Goodness does. Faith fights. Gentleness bows. Self-control___________________.

Hmmmm…….Self-control. Ten weeks ago I chose to study Beth Moore’s course on the Nine (9) Fruits of the Spirit, Living Beyond Yourself. Today, I am waiting ever so patiently to find out what verb will fill in the blank after self-control. I can only guess.

However, I don’t have to guess that self-control is the last fruit of the Spirit for a very good reason. So much in our lives depend upon that ever-difficult, ever-present, and always daunting virtue of the fruit of the Spirit, self-control. So much in our lives present challenges that need self-control. And, I don’t mean just rationing the chocolate.

Without self-control, then love may fail; joy cometh not; peace will not rule; patience will wither and definitely not wait; kindness will not have had the time needed to tender; goodness will be put on the ‘back burner’; faith will lack the skill to fight; gentleness will growl instead of bow; and, our absence of self-control will get the upper hand.

If we agree that without self-control the eight (8) other fruits of God’s Holy Spirit, residing in the very Temple of our being are, in fact, in jeopardy, then this calls for some deliberate thought, prayer and action on our part. In our busy, often ‘whirlygig’ life, how do we find the time needed to control our self, much less those important loved ones in our world. “God only knows”, we say as we “press on regardless”!

So, as my 84-year old mother has always said: “Let go and let God”! This may sound trite; however, when she says this she lifts both hands up in the air as she demonstrates “giving it up to God” in a deep, meaningful, and spiritual way.

Because by “letting go” and “giving it up to God” we are losing our self and bringing God “into the mix”; thus, making it easier for us to be the vessel for His glory filled with the other eight (8) fruits of His Spirit. Isn’t it interesting that by losing our ‘self ’ in that hard-fought arena of self-control, we actually gain control of our selves in order to make room for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, and gentleness?

There was once a young child who wanted to know about the fruits of the Spirit. The father brought in a huge bowl filled with eight (8) different kinds of fruit. There was a lime for love; a Jamaica cherry for joy; a plum for peace; a pear for patience; a kiwi for kindness; a grapefruit for goodness; a fig for faith; and, a grape for gentleness. Set aside next to the fruit bowl was a giant squash from the father’s prize garden. The little boy looked up at his father and asked: “why do you have all of these fruits in a bowl and this huge squash sitting all by itself?”

The father reached down and grabbed the squash by the crook of its neck and proceeded to take each piece of fruit out of the bowl and pummel them, one at a time. “Daddy,” the young boy exclaimed, “why are you ruining the fruit?” The boy’s father looked down at his son with love and said: “Son, I am doing this so you can see how powerful self-control is and that without it, the rest of the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit is squashed.” “Remember this and your life will be filled with God’s garden.”

Let us now also remember our God who gracefully allows us to have His fresh fruit each day as we sing together the Lord’s Prayer.

Oh, and to all who are wanting to know how to fill in the blank: Self-control_____Stops!___________.

By Diane Raborn  © dfr Soli Deo Gloria

Thank you Diane – St Stephen’s Anglican Church

Go now in Peace, never be afraid;
God will be with you each hour of every day.

Go now in Faith, steadfast and true;
Know He will guide you in all you do.

Go now in Love and show you believe;
Reach out to others so all the world can see.
God will be there, watching from above.

Go now in peace, in faith and in love.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

From St Stephen’s Anglican Church ( to be sung)

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