In Eat that Frog, Brian Stacy describes self-discipline as the ability to make yourself do what you ought to do, when you ought to do it, even when you don’t want to.
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23). This is similar to the self-discipline Stacy describes, but with these two important differences.
1. The self-control that is “fruit of the Spirit” has the goal of “keeping in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). The Christian developing this self-control has a mindset on what the Spirit desires. The question “why” is vital here. Self-control is not simply about becoming a more productive person; it is about become more like Christ. Becoming like Christ, after all, is what the Spirit desires for you (Rom. 8:29).
2. The self-control that is “fruit of the Spirit” is developed with the power of the Spirit. The role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life is not to manipulate her to keep her from committing sin. Instead the role of the Spirit is to keep the Christian spiritually alive so that even when he does not practice the self-control that he wants to practice, he is not condemned. This freedom from guilt and condemnation that belongs to those who have the Spirit of God leads to life and peace. This relationship of grace is an incredible training ground to become a person of self-control for the glory of God.
In what area(s) of your walk with Christ does your marriage reveal that you need to develop stronger self-control? What stops you from growing in this fruit of the Spirit?