Well, I feel off the wagon again. I haven’t been to the gym in a week. I set up an appointment yesterday morning and cancelled with the trainer. I ate too much great food (we bought ice cream at the store – twice). Amazingly, I have not gained back much weight.
The Apostle Paul says in his letter to a church in Galatia in the 1st century that self-control is a gift of the Holy Spirit. He has a whole list of these gifts – “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23).” So, self-control is a spiritual issue, not just a psychological, emotional or physical one. We all know people who are just incredibly disciplined. They set their minds to something and they just do it. Maybe they struggle somehow, but we don’t notice. It is much like the rest of this list. Some of us have a greater capacity for joy than others. Some are gentle. Some of us (well, not me too much) are patient. I have followed Jesus Christ for over forty years, but I still struggle with bearing the “fruit of the Spirit.”
Maybe I should pray more about these things. In another part of the Bible we read “work out you salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12,13).” The Holy Spirit is at work in the children of God. He is changing us, recreating us into the image of Jesus. It is a process, an ongoing work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is a work that seems to ebb and flow throughout our lives.
So I guess I am more ebbing than flowing of late. Next week I will be on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There will be no wagon there.