We live in an age of rampant indulgence where more is better—faster trumps slower. It’s easy to allow the current of our culture to sweep us away. So what sets a leader apart? What makes you different? In a society out of control, 1 Peter 5:1 reminds us to “Be self-controlled.”
It’s indisputable that we need the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. But which fruit produces the others? H.P. Liddon said that, “What we do on some great occasion will be the result of what we are, and what we are will be the result of years of self-discipline.”
While coaching young Timothy, Paul details what’s required, saying that a leader is qualified more for his character than for his skill. As Paul continues, he writes, “Now the overseer must be above reproach...self-controlled.” 1 Timothy 3:1
Sadly, we know people with promising leadership potential that have what’s called a “Fatal Flaw.” A fatal flaw is the unchecked appetite of our flesh. I have several potential fatal flaws. We all do. And if you think you don’t, bells and flashing lights should be going off in your spirit. But just because we have these seeds in us, doesn’t mean they have to produce fruit. Spirit empowered self-control keeps those seeds dormant.
A popular TV show is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Each episode goes past the outer obvious aspects of the crime scene and looks deep into the imperceptible elements. This heightened scrutiny reveals the true facts–often breaking the case wide open. Galatians 5:22-23 reads like a lab report listing bits of evidence used to determine whether or not we have the Spirit at work in our lives.
Be honest. Be real. How fresh is your fruit?