Our world is somewhat hostile to the word “Humility.” It sees a humble person as a week person and a person who is walked over like a doormat. In the world’s opinion, we should think highly of ourselves and think less of others. The reality is that meekness is not weakness; it is self-control which is one of the fruits of the spirit.
Galatians 5:22, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We are called to be humble, but we are also called to submit to authority. I want to discuss the concept of authority and submission today from the standpoint of self-control, not weakness. Again, humility is an example of self-control, but it is not a weakness. Based on the world’s definition of humility and meekness they would have us believe that humble people are weak, but we as believers need to understand that this is not the case.
The problem we run into is that we are so selfish that increasing our love of self will leave little room for God, not to mention our neighbors. True humility places all the power of “self” in service to God and to a neighbor. When we are directed by Gods love, people who are humble in spirit invest themselves in what the world thinks is a weakness, but what we as believers would call self-control.
So, what is self-control and how do we apply it. Well, first we must understand what self-control is. It is defined as, “the ability to control oneself, in particular, one's emotions and desires or the expression of them in one's behavior, especially in difficult situations.” Self-control requires that I am disciplined enough to control myself, my wants, and my attitude/behavior at all times. This often requires me to put the needs of other first and lift them up, even though this can be a difficult thing to do sometimes. Self-control only comes when the Holy Spirit brings about a change in my character through His work in us. We do not become a Christian on our own, and we do not grow on our own, we need the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
One of the proofs of the Holy Spirits works in our lives is the ability to control our thoughts, words, and actions. This is the essence of self-control. To demonstrate self-control, I need to be humble enough to admit that I need the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. We need to understand that we cannot do this on our own power. We need to have self- control because the outside world and the internal forces still attack.
Self-control is the key to perseverance, and it naturally leads to it as we learn to value the long term good instead of the instant gratification of the world.
Ask yourself today, where can you use a little more self-control and humility? What areas do you struggle with? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in these weak areas and give God al the Glory!