Everyone has some measure of self-control, and everyone struggles at some level with self-control. Believe it or not, if you've ever made a New Years resolution and then didn't keep it...self-control. This Fruit of the Spirit, however, helps us to develop a type of self-control that is other-oriented, and leads to a greater level of self-differentiation.
Power that is out of control is deadly. Power that is harnessed and in control can serve to the benefit of many people and can accomplish great things. The essence of gentleness (meekness) is not the denial of your strength but rather the harnessing of it for great good.
There is something about faithfulness is that is truly astounding when we find it in others. When someone is truly reliable, we come to deeply appreciate that characteristic in them. God is fully faithful and He wants to develop faithfulness in each of us.
Integrity is the strength of your character - regardless of how good you look on the outside, your integrity is how you look on the inside. We should all pay very close attention to how we look on the inside, because that is exactly what God looks at in us.
Sooner or later (probably sooner) we will find ourselves in a position where we will have to wait for someone, where our patience will be stretched and tested, and we might even loose our patience. This is of course a universal struggle, but what does it really mean to be patient with others, and what does true patience actually look like?
Peace that comes from God is far more than the circumstantial and temporary peace that we often look for when we find ourselves in the throes of our crazy lives. Most of the time we are just looking for relief from the pain of conflict and would settle for peace and quiet rather than seeking out the peace that passes understanding. The good news is that you don't have to settle. God's peace is available, and will lead to peace with others and even to peace within!
Joy and happiness are not the same thing. While happiness is largely contingent upon your current circumstances, true joy transcends circumstances and is an abiding characteristic in the life of Christ-followers. The power of joy is not that believers are always happy, it's that as believers we are always aware of the salvation that is ours in Christ!
Love. It's the most sung about topic in music, essential to the plot of most movies, and on the minds of most people. We have a planet-wide obsession with love. However, the first of the Fruit of the Spirit is a unique brand of love, one that does not occur naturally among humans. It's called "Agape" and there is only one way to get it.
Scripture tells us that when we choose to move with the Holy Spirit in our lives that we will experience some specific, tangible, and beneficial outcomes that will be produce by the Holy Spirit rather than by our own strength or ability. The key to experiencing the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives is simply for us to "abide."