Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)

Last weekend a couple of hundred women gathered at a Christian retreat camp. It was a wonderful weekend for fun, new experiences, meaningful messages, a toolbox full of practical application, and instructions to go with it. That last one is important because, I don’t know about you but, I need instruction!

The most meaningful tool for me is the CALM technique. Learn to be calm. I’ll extend that to say learn to be calm in all situations.

We can’t hear that still small voice (1Kings 19:11-12) when we are already over the edge, now can we? Now that we’ve been looking at the fruit of the Spirit for the last week, you can guess that we’re looking at self-control today. Showing self-control in all situations. We aren’t starting from scratch here, in 2 Timothy 1:7 we learn that God has already given us a spirit of self-control. Let’s learn to use it.

Before leaving for the retreat, I committed to making some changes in my diet, exercise, and schedule to improve and preserve my health. That includes mental and emotional health, so remaining calm is an important part of the process. People are depending on me to be present for them and oh, by the way, God has plans for me and I want to be available to carry them out.

Barb Roose was our speaker for the weekend and WOW! Girlfriend, she gets right down to it. I give her all the credit for this one. CALM is a technique she shared at the retreat and I believe it can be very effective in helping us make room for the other emerging fruits of the Spirit, as well. Barb expands on this technique in her Winning the Worry Battle bible study.

I’ve summarized the four steps here:

C – Count to five. A simple and calming breathing technique.

A – Acknowledge the presence of God in your like.

L – Make a list. Identify the places you need God’s help in your life.

M – Meditate! Find a verse, or develop a statement, affirming God’s love for you.

If only I had opened my toolbox when I returned home…but I didn’t.  Let’s just say re-entry didn’t go as planned. I blew it. I am still so disappointed in myself because I know better. 2 Timothy has been my life verse for 20 years. What happened!

Sharpen those tools, my friend. Have them ready when needed (Ps 119:11, Matt 4: 4). Work at the good things in life until they become second, no, first nature. I don’t think that’s a thing, but it should be.

Yes, believers really do have a spirit of self-control. It’s in there somewhere. Find it. Ask the Holy Spirit to develop it in you and keep calm for goodness sake!


Go to the Table of Contents to read more posts in this series as they go live.

It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute FridaysWe write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt is GATHER.


Barb Roose – Please visit Barb’s website, she is a gifted speaker, author, and teacher.