Emma and her little brother Elliot sat by the lake fishing. Dad was teaching Elliot to fish for the first time ever. Dad was casting, and Elliot was pulling them in.
Suddenly, Emma got a bite. She pulled and tugged until she reeled in a big trout.
Then Dad got a tug. He reeled it in, no problem.
Finally, Elliot caught one!
Dad said, “Real it in!”
Elliot turned the knob on the reel the wrong way. Dad stopped him.
This fish was big. Elliot tugged, but then the pole flung right into the lake!
“ELLIOT!” Dad yelled. That was his best pole. He got it for his birthday, and it was super-sturdy and flexible at the same time.
Dad kept yelling, “WHY WOULD YOU LET GO! THAT POLE’S WORTH SO MUCH MONEY! YOU ARE GROUNDED FOR ONE YEAR!!!!!!!”
By that time Elliot was in tears. Dad stomped away and sailed the boat home.
Later that night, Dad knocked on Elliot’s door.
Elliot didn’t answer.
“I’m sorry about earlier,” Dad said, “I should have kept myself under control. It’s a fruit of the spirit. It was just worth a lot of money, and I don’t like wasting money. But God wants us to have self-control. A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. That’s what the Bible says in Proverbs 25:28.”
“That’s in the Bible?” came a soft voice from behind the door.
“Yes,” Dad said
The door opened and Elliot came out and hugged his Dad. Dad smiled.
“Am I still grounded?” Elliot Asked.
“No. and hopefully not for a very long time.”
Self-control is very important. Without it, you will be a mess. You will do things you regret. If you struggle with self-control, ask God to help you grow as you bear this fruit of the spirit!
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on In Between the Lines