One really common assumption among Christians is we don’t develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives; God does it entirely without our participation or input. So if we want the fruit of the Spirit, all we need do is pray really hard and it’ll magically appear. Along with health and wealth and fixed relationships and every other blessing.

Okay, now look at Galatians 5 again. Notice the last fruit of the Spirit which Paul listed. What’s that word begin with? Self.

The original word is en-krátia. Krátia means government (you know, like in demo-krátia, where people govern) but en means this is an internal government: You’re ruled from the inside. You govern yourself. It’s not theo-krátia, God-controlled; nor pnefma-krátia, Spirit-controlled, as you’d think it would be. But God isn’t so incapable a Creator that he has to continually tweak his creation lest it all collapse into dust. He builds it so it can run itself the way he wants. And he rebuilds us so we can run ourselves, again the way he wants. He gives us self-control.

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