We seek to worship God and share the love of Jesus through serving the community


Welcome to St James Church Brownhills with Ogley Hay

“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.”              Galatians 5 v 22

Over the past year, at our evening Prayer Ministry services, we have been exploring the fruit of the Spirit as described above in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.

In our final sermon of the series we explored the characteristic of self-control, through the lives of Joseph and King David. Though the focus of the readings was on the matter of self-control over sexual desire, the challenges and importance of self-control applies equally across all areas of our lives.

David was a man who, though he sought to serve God faithfully, was not always successful in exercising self-control. This failure resulted in him committing adultery, lying, seeking to cover-up his transgression and finally arranging the death of one of his generals – Uriah the Hittite. David’s inability to control his feelings and desires would plague his reign – reading some of the Psalms attributed to him show the mental pain and anguish he went through as a result of his transgressions.

Joseph, on the other hand, though starting out as a man who liked to brag and lord it over his brothers, learned to exercise self-control the hard way. He was able to resist the attentions of Potipher’s wife and, though she lied about him which resulted in his imprisonment, his faithfulness had not gone unnoticed by God. Through interpreting the dream of a fellow prisoner, he was to meet the Pharaoh leading to the salvation of his people from starvation.

We all have our own areas of weakness, where we need to exercise self-control - during my sermon on this subject I referred to my struggle when it comes to hand in the cookie jar! But it is a serious matter, as the consequences for not exercising self-control can be bad both for ourselves as well as others. We may need to exercise self-control in many areas including spending habits, diet, temper, gambling, sport, technology use, driving etc.

On the other hand, exercising self-control has positive consequences for both ourselves and for other people. We have more money to give to charity, we become more patient (with ourselves and with others), we learn new things about ourselves and what we can achieve.

Exercising self-control is not easy; it requires real, determined and persistent effort. Jesus himself regularly exercised self-control, thus showing us it can be done. He even promised the Holy Spirit, the ‘comforter’, to aid us in our endeavours. That is why self-control is a fruit of the Spirit.

It is hard but we can, together and in partnership with the Holy Spirit, learn to exercise self-control.

In the service of Christ,     Dave Bishop (Revd)