Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I have decided to translate temperance as humility in my understanding of the fruits of the Spirit. It is my understanding that these fruits are produced by the Holy Spirit and not by human effort. This lesson was brought to mind by fruit trees that produce fruit by the nature of the tree and not by the effort of the tree.
Most other translation replace temperance with self-control. If I were able to control myself, that would be a force of will on my part and not a product of the Holy Spirit. The NLV translates temperance as “being the boss of your own desires”. This only confirmed to me that a better understanding of this fruit of the spirit is required.
Humiliation is a close relative of humility. The source of humiliation is external and one is humbled against his will; shame is at the center of humiliation. Humility on the other hand is a character trait which enforces control over conduct.
I am familiar with two cardiovascular surgeons. One is rude and abrasive, has no bedside manners and could care less about the patient. His ego is out of control. When I confronted him on his rudeness he replied, “My ego allows me to do things better than anyone else. Do you want polite or the best when your heart is in another man’s hands.” The other surgeon is just as skilled but he is a humble and gentle man. Humility of character keeps his ego in check. His ego allows him to do the work but his humility prevents his ego from infecting the rest of his behavior.
Since the Holy Spirit is in charge of spiritual character development, I yield to humility over self-control.