I’m challenged by why temperance and self-control are the final bookends of the nine spiritual gifts listed in Galatians 5:22-23. What’s so special about self-control?

The opposite of being tempered by self-control is being distracted, lacking in insight and discernment. Therefore, the purpose of receiving all the itemized spiritual gifts listed in Galatians is to gain wisdom. Such wisdom helps us to navigate our unpredictable stormy lives.

Yes, it is peaceful and somewhat safe to stay entrenched in our own cocoon in which we think we have all the answers, but in reality, we don’t. Yet how enlightened is the self-controlled person who firmly steps into the unknown storms of life, anticipating the possibility of unravelling long-held convictions, but gaining fresh epiphanies?

Nevertheless, I give you a word of caution as you implement self-control in your relationships. Do you counterfeit the virtue of self-control by creating your own agendas? Do you zealously champion these agendas, mistaking enthusiasm for spiritual discernment?

Instead, exert self-control by steadfastly stepping into the unknown with anticipatory glee. Be courageously curious about what spiritual discernments are waiting for you if you dare!

Do you resist change, confusing your stubbornness for self-control?

…make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, love. For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately.

2 Peter 1:5-8

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