The final two fruits of the Spirit include meekness and temperance. Keep in mind that the fruits of the Spirit are a natural outflow of a Spirit-filled life.
Meekness is similar to gentleness. However, I believe it goes a little deeper than that. Meekness also includes humility. Therefore, a meek person is one who handles themselves in a gentle and humble fashion. The Bible has much to say about living a life of humility. 1 Peter 5: 6 tells us, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” We live in a world today where everyone is all about making themselves look good. Especially in these days of social media, many people try to put on a good show and vie for attention from others. When you start to post something or a picture on social media, do you ever stop to ask yourself why you are doing it? Think about it. What is the purpose in inviting the world into your life? The main reason people engage in social media is to somehow gain acceptance and approval or pity from others. Many studies have been made on the use of social media. Many of those studies reveal that there is a connection to the amount of time someone spends on social media to depression. When we compare our lives to the lives of others it can bring serious emotional and mental problems. This is a struggle for many believers today. We find ourselves caught up in putting on a certain persona of who we are. We cry out for attention from others in more ways than one. We do this without even realizing what we are doing. The problem is in our failure to live a Spirit-filled life. When you are living a Spirit-filled life you will be so focused on bringing God glory and exalting His name in everything that you do that you will have no time for fighting for the attention of others. The only audience we should be concerned about is the audience of one and His name is Jesus. If we are focused on pleasing our Savior then our lives will reflect Him and we will be a good example for others. The scripture clearly teaches us that instead of exalting ourselves, we should exalt our Savior. You may say, well, I don’t exalt myself. But, do you publish all of your daily struggles for the whole world to see? I have seen many Christians who will post one personal problem after another on social media in the form of a so-called prayer request. However, what is the real purpose behind it? Is it not for pity? Is it not to say ‘everybody look at me and how terrible my life is.’? This in itself is a form of pride. A meek and humble person who is walking in the Spirit will share their struggles with those that are closest to them and they will keep their personal problems within their ‘inner circle’ of family and friends. I am not trying to preach on all the downfalls of social media. Social media does have some very good uses. However, the point is that in today’s culture we are very prone to pride and self-promotion and self-pity. But, when we are walking in the Spirit, this should not be an issue. When you are walking in the Spirit your life will be all about promoting Jesus rather than promoting yourself.
Temperance has to do with self-control. This is another area that many believers struggle in. We live in a ‘me’ generation. It’s all about what I want and what makes me happy. However, when you are walking in the Spirit, you will not be concerned about those things. Your desire and your happiness comes from bringing glory to God rather than satisfying your flesh. There are several areas in life in which we are to maintain self-control:
- Practice self-control in our speech.
- Practice self-control in what we look at.
- Practice self-control in what we listen to.
- Practice self-control in the midst of conflict.
- Practice self-control in our physical well-being.
- Practice self-control in our judgment of others.
- Practice self-control in the affairs of the church.
These are just a few areas in which we are to practice self-control. Having this fruit of temperance, again, comes only from living a Spirit-filled life. The more we walk in the Spirit the more meek and temperate we will become.