“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).
Temperance (enkrateia) literally means “in power”. It’s about being in control of your own passions. It’s about having dominion and mastery over your feelings. This dimension of love saves one from being at the mercy of every impulse and desire out there. When certain lustful temptations assail your heart and mind, they are met with a strong moral resistance. Beloved, we can’t stop temptations arising around us as we go about our business. We can, however, control our own response to the lure of sin. We can say no to Satan’s seductive traps. The story of David and Bathsheba in Scripture is a classic example of an otherwise noble leader whose self control was at some point AWOL (2 Sam 11). Friends, we don’t have to be evil at heart to succumb to temptation. We just need to neglect our sense of temperance, that’s all! On the other hand, this virtue enables one to restrain oneself not to retaliate and hurt those one loves when provocation happens. The reason why we don’t hit back isn’t our lack of capacity, but our self control. Let this dimension reign in every relationship of your life. It’s worth it!