Do you struggle with self-control? You’re not alone! Join me today as we dig into week four of our June study on the Fruit of the Spirit. You don’t have to live with anger—God sent His son to set you free!
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Colossians 1:9-10
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- Essential Oils Class
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center
- Dr. Duke Pesta (Part 1 and Part 2)
- Slavic Action Summit
- California Home Educators Association
- Heidi St. John Conference in Lee’s Summit, Missouri
- Heidi St. John Conference in Fredericksburg, Virginia
- Heidi St. John Conference in Vancouver, Washington
Scripture Mentioned in Podcast
- Galatians 5:16-18
- Romans 8:13
- Job 30:16-19
- Isaiah 53:4-6
- Jeremiah 15:18-19
- 2 Cornithians 5:19
Join us at MomStrong International for our Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St John, welcome to the podcast. Today is Wednesday, June 26—this is episode number 784. This is the day we focus on all things MomStrong International. Today we’re going to be talking a little bit about the fruit of the Spirit that gives us freedom from anger.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
All right. So thanks for tuning in everybody today. I am really thrilled that you’re here. We are in the middle of a very busy summer here at the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center. If you haven’t had a chance to check that out yet, you’re definitely gonna want to do it. We are just gearing up for an incredible fall and I am excited because we’re seeing lots and lots of parents pulling their kids out of public school. And listen, if you’re anywhere in the Portland, Vancouver Metropolitan Area—or even out in the sticks—come on over. You can check out what we’re doing and we can help you take your children out of school and teach you basically what it takes to homeschool your kids. There are a couple of parent qualifying courses coming up and we can direct you over to them.
So come on out to the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center. We are here typically in the summertime Monday through Thursday. I actually record at the center. So if you’re interested in joining our very small studio audience, you can come out on Wednesdays—and I record. Speaking of the podcast and the studio audience, you guys, I hope you enjoyed Dr. Duke Pesta (Part 1 and Part 2) that. It was a fantastic interview. Tomorrow I’m going to be interviewing my friend Dr. Kathy Koch and she will be on the show with me on Friday. We’re going to be talking about how you can raise self-confident, biblically grounded kids in the culture right now. And man, if there was ever a time for that, that time is definitely now. For those of you who are doing the Scripture Writing Challenge with me, today’s verse is found in Colossians 1:9-10 so I’m going to read it for you.
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; [Colossians 1:9-10]
That’s really what we want for our kids. That’s definitely what we are shooting for at MomStrong International. If you haven’t joined us at MomStrong International yet, this is a great time to do it. The Scripture Writing Challenge community over there now has topped 12,000. And so we are thrilled to see so many of you joining us to write out God’s Word every month. Did you know that we have copywork over there for your kids, and it’s also available now in Spanish? So check it out! If you’ve got friends who Spanish is their first language, or maybe they’re trying to learn Spanish—Scripture Writing Challenge is a great way to do that. You can sign up for that. It’s a doesn’t cost you anything and that is over at MomStrongInternational.com.
I want to let you guys know where I’m going to be—lots of stuff coming up on my calendar. First of all, right now we are at the and the very beginning of a class I am doing on everyday oils. Basically how to use essential oils. You can check that out HeidiStJohn.com/oils. On July 2nd I’m speaking for the Slavic Action Summit and I’m really looking forward to that. If you’ve never been to a conference where I have been speaking, I think it’s hard to really explain them, but I love speaking in front of live audiences and the Lord’s been given me lots of opportunities to do it.
I will be speaking for the California Home Educators Association July 11th through the 13th and then the very next weekend I will be speaking for AFHE the 18th through the 20th in Phoenix, Arizona. So if you’re in any of those places, check it out, I will link back to those things in the show notes today.
All right, so right now we are coming up on our very last week of the study for June. And so since this is the 26th of June, we’re on the last week. We’ve been studying the fruits of the Spirit. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about freedom from anger and the fruit of the Spirit that offers that freedom is self-control. Galatians 5:16-18 says—16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Let’s go ahead and open up this podcast in prayer.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for the opportunity that you give me three times a week to come and bring a word of encouragement that’s based in the wisdom of Your Word, the Bible. Lord, as we talk a little bit about the fruit of the Spirit that is self-control today, I pray that you would just encourage us all we’re ever, we are in our walk with you, that you don’t want us to stay where you found us. You want us to grow in respect to salvation and in the knowledge of Your Word. Father, I pray for every person that’s listening to this who is struggling with anger and has not experienced the fruit of the Spirit that is self-control. Lord, would you show us what that looks like? Help us Father, to walk in right relationship with you, that our lives would give You glory and that we would be living, breathing testimonies of the gospel and the grace of Jesus. We love You. We invite you into everything that we’re doing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
All right, so as I’m out on the road this summer, I am meeting an awful lot of guys who were saying—Hey Heidi, could you please give a shout out to the men who are listening to this? And so I want to take just a second and do that because I know as we talk about anger, sometimes the men that I’m talking to on the road, one of the reasons we focused on it is because people ask me all the time—hey, could you talk a little bit about this? And we experienced anger for a lots of different reasons. And God wants us to be free from it. So if you’re a guy who’s listening to this today and you’re like—oh my goodness, that’s me— can I just encourage you? A: You’re not alone. And B: God wants you to be free. He wants you to be free. And I know that the MomStrong International is a women’s study and we say—oh, hey, no guys allowed. But honestly, God’s Word is for everyone. God’s Word is for all of us. We are supposed to be walking in right relationship with Him and encouraging others to do the same. And the Greek Word for self-control includes especially continence, and this is something that maybe the guys won’t understand, but the women will totally get it—especially the women who have had children. Can I have a moment of silence for our absolute avoidance of things like trampolines, right? Laughing—if you’ve given up laughing altogether, I totally understand. But if you’ve had kids in you’re older than 47, chances are pretty good that at some point in your life you’ve experienced a little bit of a critical failure in your lower half. So we could swap stories—which we won’t do on the podcast today. You’re welcome.
But the Greek word for self-control includes especially especially continence and temperance, right? And that’s just funny. So the next time a situation arises where self-control is needed and your Spirit is thinking that your way is better—pay attention, because if you drive past a trampoline or you start laughing uncontrollably, take the Spirits hint and exert self-control. Interestingly, a biblical self-control is actually Spirit-fed self-control.
These are the heart attitudes that are peace and patience and self control, and they inner weave to bring the fullest development of each one. So it’s like a tapestry, right? The front is this beautiful picture, but if you turn it on over and look at the back, it’s criss-cross and a mish-mash of all colors in all directions. Aristotle said—I count him braver who overcomes his desires than he who conquers his enemies for the hardest victory is the victory over self. And Jesus understood that. Jesus understood how important it was for us to get a grip on our own fleshly desires, right? The Bible teaches us that the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is what? It’s weak. And so I want you guys to understand this. it is important—because the enemy would want us to believe that this fruit is something that we need to attain by our own work, like this idea of self-control.
But Paul states very clearly in Romans 8:13—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. So God’s telling us—you can’t do this on your own. I want to help you do it. And God will do that. And so what the Apostle Paul is teaching us to do, really, is to deny ourselves, to take up our cross, and follow God. And you guys, there is freedom in it. There is freedom. And so for those of you who are tracking along with me in week four, I am actually on page 63. So it’s quite a way down in the study. And one of the things that we started with was talking about Lou Priolo, out of his book The Heart of Anger, he describes a five step process by which rebellion takes root.
So it starts this way. First step is someone gets wounded—and you can get wounded from a real or a perceived offense, right? Or oftentimes we get wounded and the person that wounded us is like—what are you talking about? I didn’t do that on purpose. I certainly didn’t mean to do that. That was an accident, or whatever. Or maybe we misunderstood something and we choose to be offended. And the hurt is the seed that grows into the root of bitterness. And then bitterness grows if the wounded person does not respond biblically to the hurt by either A: forgiving, B: overlooking or, C: recognizing the offense was not wrong. In other words, it should have been something that they shouldn’t have been offended by in the first place. I want to take a look at the second part of this though—this wounded person who doesn’t respond biblically. It’s easy to see how we can respond by not forgiving, right? That’s a no brainer.
But oftentimes we choose not to overlook something and we should overlook it, right? There are things that, you know—somebody will say something to us that hurts our feelings or they’ll leave a snarky comment on social media or whatever it was. And we can allow that bitterness to come in or we can just go—Nah, I’m going to get over it. And really that’s what the Apostle Paul saying right in 2 Corinthians. And we need to, at some point, just be able to say—I’m over it. Let it go. Right? Can you just hear it—let it go, let it go. Right? Just let it go. And oftentimes you don’t want to let it go. We want to hang onto it, right? We talked about that last week. We hang onto our angry eyebrows like they used to do in veggie tales, and then bitterness begins to grow. And anger that is habitual and deep in the heart—can take root after bitterness sets in.
So this is not referring to a quick outburst, but rather a character based anger. In other words, we’re just pretty much just staying angry all the time. We live in a state of being offended. We cut people off, we’re rude, we can be disrespectful. And stubbornness then is the next thing. Stubbornness follows anger. And surprisingly, it is the immediate step before rebellion, right? And so in his book, Priolo gives the picture of a backsliding heifer pushing her front hooves into the ground to counteract her master who is trying to push or pull her forward. That’s stubbornness. And I think as parents oftentimes we don’t realize that. And my friend Kathy Koch, she’s coming on the show on Friday with me and we’ll be talking a little bit about what is behind this heart of anger, how can you help your children—and often it’s on the parent. They realized that their child is stubborn and we might deal with the stubbornness, but we’re not really getting to the root. We’re looking at the fruit. So stubbornness would be the fruit—and what’s the root? Anger is often the root. And so after stubbornness, often we find rebellion is the next step. And rebellion emerges when behavior characteristics have gone past the biblical definition of an angry man, and align with the biblical characteristics of a fool. The Bible teaches us that a companion of fools suffers harm. And so often as parents, we allow our children to hang out with kids that we know are a bad influence on them because we don’t have the wisdom, or we don’t have the push to make sure that we protect them—and we wind up with all manner of struggles with our kids.
And often it comes from those five steps I just talked to. And parents, we can actually put our kids in harm’s way and allow them to be wounded when we don’t pay attention to A: who they’re hanging out with, B: have we allowed them to work through, to really work through, the issues that they’re facing—because we’re all going to get wounded in this life, right? Wounding inevitably comes because we live here on the earth, right? And so what we want to do is train our hearts to long for peace and patience and self-control, to long to choose restraint other than allowing a seed of pain to germinate into bitterness in our heart. And so this month for the Bible study, we’re focusing a little bit…there’s several passages and I’ll list them to you here in a second.
But in Job 30:16-19, we see Job in a fair amount of pain. The dude had every reason to be upset, right? So many things had gone wrong. His kids were dead. All kinds of things that he was facing and struggling with. And yet, he doesn’t get chastised for crying out to God. And in fact—he lets his grief just be shown. It kind of goes into full blown grief mode. And it’s okay to grieve, you guys. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling through it—it’s okay to grieve. Job was grieving.
So check this out. This is what he said in Job 30:16-19 —16 “And now my soul is poured out because of my plight; The days of affliction take hold of me. 17 My bones are pierced in me at night, And my gnawing pains take no rest. 18 By great force my garment is disfigured; It binds me about as the collar of my coat. 19 He has cast me into the mire, And I have become like dust and ashes.
And here is Job just saying—what is going on? I am in so much pain. And I know a lot of you who are listening to this right now can relate to that. The Bible says it’s all right. We pour our hearts out before the Lord knowing that He cares about us, that He’s listening to us.
This is Isaiah in Isaiah 53:4-6— Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Jesus understands your grief, right? The Bible teaches us that He was a man of sorrows that was acquainted with grief—and it’s all right to grieve. And in your grieving remember that Jesus bore an inordinate amount of pain for us, and we want to say thank you. And so when we grieve, but we don’t give that to the Lord or we, instead of giving it that pain and that grief and that disappointment to the Lord—if we allow our attitudes to grow into bitterness a we need to own our part in that. Because the Lord has been through far worse than we had been through. He understands our sorrows. He was punished for our sin, and yet He knew no sin. And God is saying—if you’ll come to me, I can help you. I want to help you. God longs to give you freedom.
In Jeremiah 15:18-19—here’s Jeremiah, absolutely in pain before the Lord, the Bible calls him the weeping prophet. He said: 18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail? So he’s asking Lord—when is enough enough? Why is this happening? Are you not going to come around? And the Lord answeres him in the very next verse. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
Jeremiah was feeling a pain that was unceasing. He doubted that at any point that God was going to make it stop. And when God answers him in verse 19, He answers with a call to “extract the precious from the worthless”. And he saying: Jeremiah—reign in your thought patterns, reign in your incorrect thinking about me. And Jeremiah knew God loved him, right? But he needed to exercise self-control and take his thoughts captive.
You are an ambassador for Christ. And I’m often saying that to women when I’m out speaking, and to men who come and talk to me. I think sometimes we forget that we are God’s ambassadors, as if God were making God appeal through us, right? And in verse 19 of 2 Corinthians 5, we read the Apostle Paul talking to the church in Corinth.
This sick church, right? That had been turned on its ear because of sin, right? And the Apostle Paul is pleading with them. He’s saying—listen, anyone who belongs to Christ as the new person, the old life is gone, the new has begun. This is a gift from God who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. No longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. And here it is. So we are Christ’s ambassadors, as if God were making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead—come back to God, come back to God. You are Christ’s ambassadors, men and women.
Stop what you’re doing for just a second.
Stop the laundry, stop the dishes. Quiet the water that’s coming out of the sink and listened to what it means to be an ambassador for Jesus. Does your life say I am a follower of Jesus? Does your life say—God has set me free? Because this life that we lead is not about us. It is about Him.
Our culture flaunts sexual immorality, it flaunts a lack of self-control.
Our culture is telling us that we can do whatever we want and be whatever we want. It wants us to cause other people to stumble, and I want to encourage you today as representatives of the Lord Jesus—let’s choose to honor Him in every area of our lives. This is a way that we can joyfully honor Him as we exercise self-control in our life because we are His ambassadors. Let’s be the best ambassadors because we love Him.
Remember, it’s not about us. It’s about Jesus.
I want to say thanks to everybody for listening today. We so appreciate the reviews that you’re leaving for the podcast over at iTunes and we’re excited to see what’s coming up in the fall. I’ve got several Heidi St. John Conferences coming up. I’ll be in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and the early bird pricing for that ends really quick. So if you’re out anywhere near Lee Summit, Missouri, Kansas City, and Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas—I’m really excited to be there for a one day event. August 24th we’re going to be doing Miracle Worker, The Life Changing Power of Following Jesus. After that, my women’s conference will be in Fredericksburg, Virginia on September 14th and then in Vancouver, Washington on October 12th. These are all my women’s conference, and if you’ve got a daughter who’s, I’d say 14 years of age or older, and want to bring her—this is a great opportunity to do so. We spend all day talking about the Word of God and how to apply it to our lives and in the culture around us. I’m telling you what, it’s life changing. So check it out. You can find out more information about those events HeidiStJohn.com/events.
Also you guys, I have asked those of you who have recently opened an account with my friends at Evangelical Christian Credit Union to let me know what you think. And today I want to share one of the testimonials that we received. Melissa from Maryland wrote in sharing this. Hello there. I love your podcast and I’m so encouraged by your ministry. Thanks Melissa. You asked for feedback on ECCU and I’m here to say that they are amazing. I homeschool and opened a Start Young account for both of my daughters. It was so easy. I was hesitant at first to bank with them simply because they are on the west coast and I am in Maryland. However, they made it easy. It only took about five minutes to apply for each account and within a day or two, the accounts were open and ready to use. All you need is your child’s social security number. It has been a great experience. Thank you for encouraging me to check them out. This will be a great tool for my girls as they grow up and learn about finances.
So this is something that’s really important to us to over at the podcasts. You haven’t checked out our sponsor, Evangelical Christian Credit Union. I want to encourage you to do so and let us know how it’s working for you. Thanks for listening everybody, I’ll see you back here on Friday with my friend, Dr. Kathy Koch.
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