Self-control is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. (16, 29:11; Galatians 5:22-23) Self-control pertains to my emotions. Emotions are a vital part of human existence. They reflect the nature of God. God has self-control. When I exercise self-control I am reflecting the image of God created in me through the Spirit.
Controlling my emotions is not to say I suppress my emotions. When I suppress emotions I build up a damn that contains my emotions. They build up inside me. Eventually, the emotion damn breaks causing my emotions to rush out and flood everything around me. A flood of emotions can destroy the nature of my existence, especially those I love who are close to me.
“A fool shows his annoyance at once” (16). “A fool gives full vent to his anger” (29:11). “A prudent man overlooks an insult” (16). “A wise man keeps himself under control” (29:11). Controlling annoyance and anger mean that I do not react quickly. I do not react physically. I do not speak harsh words. To do this I seek the power of the Holy Spirit to convert annoyance and anger into peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Later, when I am alone I can and should seek to deal with the source of my annoyance and anger. This is not easy for me. Like any muscle, mastery of emotions takes continual exercise.
Oh Lord, grant me the control of the Spirit like David when the Benjamite cursed him and threw stones and dirt at him when David fleed Jerusalem because of his son’s revolt. (2 Samuel 16:11-14)