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Annette's Notes, Issue #018 -- Got Temperance
September 09, 2015


“Temperance” is a word we don't hear much nowadays. Even the more-modern equivalent, “self-control,” seems to make people uncomfortable.

In our Kids’ Power Hour class (6- to 10-year-olds), we recently completed a series on the Fruit of the Spirit, culminating with “Temperance.” I used parables to illustrate each fruit in this series, and for Temperance I used Paul’s comparison to athletes in competition:

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all,
but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;
so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

We discussed how Olympians are very familiar with temperance. They are willing to sacrifice sleep, favorite foods and drinks, and time with friends and family—for years. They are willing to push their bodies to the limit and beyond, suffering extreme fatigue and multiple injuries. They do all this to earn a corruptible crown: one that will decay, fall apart, turn to dust.

As we were studying, this question came to mind:

Why do we think everything should be easy?

We’re willing to do what God asks us to do, as long as it is not too inconvenient or messy or embarrassing or difficult. And if something becomes too difficult, we’re liable to get angry with God.

But God, in His love, pushes us to do hard things. He sees what we can become if we don’t settle for easy.

Do marathoners do hard things? Do Olympians? Do inventors? Do those at the top of their game, whether in sports, music, business, or any other field of life? Why do we think we can accomplish great things in God’s Kingdom without effort, denial, and sacrifice? Without temperance?

We must work to exercise control over our bodies, minds, and spirits. We may need to sacrifice sleep, favorite things, money, time, etc. But we do not have to do these things on our own. After all, temperance is a Fruit of the Spirit.

God asks us to do hard things. And He gives us His Spirit to help us do them.

God asks us to do hard things. And this is good.

Think About It

Ask yourself:
  • Am I avoiding something hard God has asked me to do?
  • Have I become lazy and undisciplined, too focused on my ease?
  • What is keeping me from making the sacrifices necessary to accomplish the difficult and great things God has called me to do?

I pray God will grow in us the temperance necessary to become a powerful force for His kingdom in this world.


P.S. I hope to finishing editing and begin uploading "The Fruit of the Spirit - illustrated with Parables" curriculum soon.
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