Christ answered them not again. Consider here the self-control of our Savior! Accused of many things, before Anna, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod, and finally Pilate again, he answered nothing. As a sheep before his sheerers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. How long would we have been able to hold our tongues? How long would we have even attempted to? Jesus had complete control over his spirit, emotions, and temper. Innocent and charged with all sorts of nonsense, He did not respond. We see here Christ set forth as an example of self-control. In these things, he demonstrates something that is highly esteemed throughout the Scriptures.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
2 Peter 1:5-7 “5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity”
Proverbs 16:32 “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”
Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
Christ was moved with compassion many times. He was moved to anger at points. He allowed righteous emotion to move him. Yet, he was not controlled by it. There are times, places, and emotions that are good and right to express. But we are to rule our spirit. We are not to let our spirit rule us. Our fear, grief, anger, pity, or happiness (to name a few) should not be the thing that controls us. If we are to let righteous emotions move us, and not all emotions, we must have a control over ourselves to filter them. We should not allow our spirit to control us. The Holy Spirit should control us.
I think often times we have a mistaken mindset that we are exercising self-control (temperance) and walking in the fruit of the Spirit as long as we don’t “lose our temper.” But losing our temper is the extreme form of not ruling our spirit. We are not ruling our spirit if we allow ourselves to act in anger/frustration/fear/etc. The difference in my children when they “throw a fit” and scream yell and kick their legs or when they silently turn their heads, avoid eye contact, and refuse to eat is noticed by the senses. My ears, eyes, and often hands and arms struggle when one of my children throws a fit in anger. When they stew in anger it is much quieter and less disruptive. Regardless though, they are acting in anger and sinning. We adults do the same thing. God does not excuse our actions in anger because “I didn’t lose my temper.” God doesn’t excuse our lack of panic when we are still acting out of fear. God doesn’t excuse a perversion of justice because we feel sorry for a person.
Over and over in the Scriptures we are told to control ourselves. This can only be done by walking with the Lord. And walking is only done over time. There is no easy solution if you are prone to anger. There is no easy solution if you are prone to fear. There is no easy solution if you are prone to depression. A walk is a daily, moment by moment thing. It is a continual step by step. And when we say we “missed a few days in the Word/prayer,” we need to be honest that we have stopped walking.
It may not be easy, but it is simple. Read your Bible and pray every day. God loves you. God will give victory. So, read His Word. Talk to Him. Ask Him to rescue you from these things that control you. Ask Him to give you the control of your spirit. Ask Him to take control of your spirit. Thank Him for His faithfulness to do these things as we walk with Him.