Feasting on Fruit: Self-control

May 18th, 2014
Self-Control: Relaxation

Breathe In

You might begin by exhaling self-control's opposite which is instability and rashness, as well as timidity and talkativeness. Imagine self-control filling and spreading through your body with each inhale and letting go of any instability, rashness, timidity or talkativeness with each exhale.

Soon you'll not only be able to picture yourself breathing in self-control but you will have such an abundance of self-control it will overflow and you'll begin breathing out self-control into the world. Practice consciously breathing self-control in and out as long as desired.

Look at today's body prayer, notice the effort it takes to truly relax and let go both in this posture and on your walk of faith, inviting you to really become “a feather on the breath of God.” Rest in the posture allowing your body to experience a deeper welcome and awareness of this particular fruit of the Spirit.

  • Enjoy the entire flow of fruit of the Holy Spirit in and with your body by beginning with the love posture, moving into and through joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and resting in self-control. You can repeat the flow as many times as you would like.
  • You might combine the posture of self-control with the breathing described above. God delights in your prayer of self-control filling and being embodied by your own body.
  • Invite your mind and will to join the body prayer. Through the Holy Spirit, we are freely offered the wisdom of God, the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2). Whether combined with the posture or said lying in bed, driving in your car, standing in a line somewhere, joining others at church, you can prayerfully say,

I have the mind of Christ.
My mind is full of self-control.
I choose self-control today in my
thoughts, words, decisions, and actions.

Breathe Out

How can you breathe out self-control everywhere you go? Remember Hildegard of Bingen's words and see yourself as “a feather on the breath of God.”

  • As you sit in church or consider the people you worship with, pray and envision self-control being breathed over or perhaps growing and ripening in your congregation. Imagine self-control growing within each person, breathed among the people gathered there.
  • Figuratively or literally walk God's self-control through your own neighborhood or larger community. Perhaps look at a community map and divide it into nine areas to pray over. You may even take your own body of self-control and walk through each area and with each breath, blessing it with this fruit of the Spirit.
  • Looking at a world map, you might consider praying for these nine areas—the seven continents (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America), eight being all bodies of water and nine, all air/space. Whether you pray for a particular area or over all areas, allow yourself to be led by the Spirit whether with words, picturing self-control in a certain place, or silently offering that area to God.

More ways to breathe out and kindle the fire of self-control in the world:

  • Turning to the New Testament stories of Pentecost (Acts 2), Peter's vision of the sheet coming down and conversation with Cornelius (Acts 10) and Paul's blinding on the road to Damascus (Acts 22), enter in with all of your senses and pay attention to how self-control may be present.
  • What part of your own self needs self-control?

As you consider the Scriptures you've read, any dreams and conversations or times of prayer, do you have a sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying about self-control in your own internal world?

  • Who is the Spirit bringing to mind that is in need of greater self-control in your external world—workplace, church, neighborhood, family, etc.? Is there a particular person or group of people coming to your awareness in need of self-control today? How might the Holy Spirit be inviting you to widen the welcome by bringing and offering self-control to the world? Ask the Spirit to show you what simple step you can take now in offering the fruit of self-control.

Looking back over your 9 days (or weeks) of welcoming the Holy Spirit, what are your observations? How was it for you to purposely breathe deeply and feast on the Spirit's fruit in a variety of ways? Any thoughts, feelings or actions associated with widening the welcome? What thoughts and practices will you continue to breathe and feast on?

As in the beginning, I leave you now with this same blessing:

May you breathe deeply the Holy Spirit. May you be willing to look like a fool. May you feast on the Spirit's fruit and become what you eat. May the world taste and see that the Lord is good.

This full series will be posted here.


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