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Summary: How does the Spirit grow self-control in us?

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control

Galatians 5:22-23

Advent conspiracy video during offering – Susan shares after

During coffee – show marshmallow video.

Advent – entering into the time of lack of control!

Galatians 5:22-3

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

What is Self-Control?

Star Article – Marshmallow test

It’s called the Marshmallow Test. And some neuroscientists believe it is a critical first step needed to improve schooling.

"It’s going to be huge," says Martin Westwell, a neuroscientist at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, adding that many studies show it foretells success in life more accurately than how well a child can read or do math.

The Marshmallow Test got its name from an experiment at Stanford University in the 1960s on 4-year-old nursery school pupils. Researchers told children that they could have one thing they really wanted right away – a marshmallow, or a candy or a cookie, for example – but if they could wait while the researcher left the room and came back about 15 minutes later, they could have two.

It was designed to test self-control. The researchers, led by psychologist Walter Mischel, found only about 30 per cent of more than 600 children tested could hold out.

That’s as far as it went until the early 1980s, when Mischel followed up and discovered the children who had been able to wait for two marshmallows were also doing better academically.

Jonah Lehrer, in a recent New Yorker magazine article, reports those children who waited 15 minutes averaged 210 points higher – more than 10 per cent – on college entrance exams than did those who could wait only 30 seconds.

Here’s the really exciting thing: Like math and reading, these skills can be taught and learned. They are not genetic. We can all learn how to get more marshmallows.

What is Self-Control?

Self-control is the ability to wait for the second marshmallow – to keep our desires, lusts, … in check – that we control them, they do not control us.

I think that everyone has difficulty in self-control in at least one area of their life.

Addictions, weaknesses, food, (Häagen-Dazs) anger, anxiety, fear, sexuality, the need to control others, (Bailey keeping all the squirrels up in the trees) gossip, talking…

I remember when Bill Clinton was dealing with the whole Monica Lewinski affair, there was a psychiatrist on a show talking about weather Clinton had a sexual addiction. He said that he though it was more like sexual incontinence! Incontinence – lack of control

“I just couldn’t help myself.” – by the Help of the Spirit, you could help yourself!

Where do you lack Self-Control? - do you laugh it off, excuse it, or do you want the Fruit of Self Control to grow?

How does the Spirit grow self-control within us?

The Bible doesn’t talk much about self-control: in general, the writers don’t trust the “self” much, so they speak more about being controlled by the Holy Spirit than controlling yourself.

Romans 8:5-17


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