Maddy was a lovely girl. Not only was she a great friend with a servant’s heart, but she loved the Lord. Being a good student was also something she strived for.
Always looking for a new adventure, Maddy was always excited to see what was behind every new door that she encountered. Excitement for the next thing was sought out with joy in each step..
Maddy did have a struggle. For sometimes, her attitude wasn’t the best. She often had over emotional responses to every day trials that left her sitting in a darkened room to think through her reactions.
Having a difficult time processing disappointments, or any kind of strife which were counter intuitive to her own ideal of how things should line up often left her in an emotional tearful wreck. She often cried about how life hadn’t been fair and how priorities were messed up. As a child, Maddy didn’t understand that life goes this way no matter our faith walk and that the Lord is who holds us up when things go awry.
Because of the lack of processing, Maddy would find herself in trouble for outbursts, thinking that she was disappointing her family, and specifically her mother. Her emotional attachment to her family created a greater internal struggle with life expectations.
One day, as she sat in her bedroom pondering through her latest emotional meltdown, Maddy reflected upon something that her mother had said a few years prior.
Sent a gift, her mother stood in the kitchen excited over a new blender. Maddy’s grandmother sent this fun gift knowing how much her own daughter loved to make smoothies. Her mother was very excited as she spoke about all the fun things she would make for herself and for the kids. Murmuring as she headed into the refrigerator, she started to pull out whatever ingredients she had on hand to make her first masterpiece.
As Mother added fruit to the blender, she spoke about mango trees, and strawberry fields growing up. The love of picking the fresh fruit from the vine was a precious memory for her mother. As she placed berries in the blender, she started to ponder over a different fruit. She mentioned love and joy while wanting to understand how to attain peace in a chaotic world. At some point she hollered out to any child in ear’s reach to look up the verse. She wanted confirmation that the fruit led to freedom from chaos.
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Mother came back to one fruit in particular. She stood there claiming that the best one wrapped up all the others together making them attainable. Self-control over emotion, keeping our thoughts focused on the cross, would help us to be able to understand the rest. Without it, we become too wrapped up in our selfish ways to see the truth of the Gospel.
Maddy thought through these things. She knew that her outbursts were looked at as being disobedient to the fruit even though on the inside she felt good intentions. She loved her family, friends, community and most of all Jesus, and she didn’t want to displease any. Maddy often became very offended when people didn’t believe or follow the truth that Jesus presented. Her heart ached and outrage followed suit. She didn’t understand why her family didn’t seem to react in the same way. They instead lived with joyful hearts despite a chaotic world. What was failed to be seen was that joy is what held everyone together within the self-control.
Joy is something that needs to be held on to and can be attained through the freedom that Jesus presents us.
Self-control can help us hang on to this joy as we encounter push-back in our faith. Maddy didn’t want to be between a wall and lies any longer. She knew that she needed to seek out the fruit in each part of life. She needed to give up her high emotions to the Lord and allow for him to nurture the high spirit inside of her.Joy is something that needs to be held onto and can be attained through the freedom that Jesus presents us. Click To Tweet
Mother always told Maddy that she enjoyed her spirit. She would pray that Maddy would use her spirit for the good of her faith. There were prayers that she would turn her spirit back the Lord in praise. Maddy knew that she was a child of God and she wanted to honor Him with her life. She wanted to embrace the fruit, strive for the fruit and proclaim the truth through the fruit.
There is freedom in the truth and the spirit of a person will do well following the Lord’s statutes.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all with joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
3 thoughts on “Self Control: A Teen Devotional on The Fruit of the Spirit”
Maddy and I have something in common………….
Posts that relate to teens hardly pass my eye because I also have a teen. Any good stuff I get goes a long way in helping my teen too. There is always something to learn. Thank you for this beautiful write up.
Thank you. I have two teens and a tween in my house and I need to remember to keep perspective in check. This was a great reminder for myself as well.