This isn’t about bringing a vehicle to rest; but it’s about control. More specifically, self-control. The clear implication here is that with the absence of self-control, we end up doing wrong things—making wrong decisions and choices. Most of us think we have self-control. We even boldly make such a claim. Are you one of those persons? But when we look in the mirror with honesty and ask ourselves, “Is there anything we do in excess? Aren’t there things we do or actions we take that we know we shouldn’t, and we just wouldn’t stop?” Finally, “do we really have self-control?” “Why haven’t we stopped what we know we should and keep procrastinating to do?”
Self-control is so important that the apostle Paul writes, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh,” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV). Most of us in privacy and even when asked by another would say, “Yes. We do have self-control.” Surely now that can’t be true. Our relationships of all types in the world bear that out. It’s the absence of self-control why we have laws, the police, the justice system, counselling, arbitration, disputes, quarrels, and more. Due to the absence of self-control we are overweight, we attract diseases, lose money in gambling, become victims of all kinds of addictions, we are guilty of abusing ourselves and others.
The absence of self-control is evident of the works of the flesh. Paul mentions such evidence as: “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, reveries, and the like,” (Galatians 5:19-21).
How do we develop self-control? We simply need to “walk in the Spirit.” To do so, we must “live in the Spirit” (5:25). When we become believers in Christ, the Spirit indwells us immediately—we are reborn just by our believing in the lordship of Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:3). God works miracles through us (5:5). Self-control, a Christlike behavior and quality, is one of the fruits and benefits of the very Spirit that indwells us (5:23). By this pure quality, Christlike self-control, we can stop all that is lawless that we need to stop.