In the book of Galatians, Paul mentions nine traits that mark the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit in a person’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are not automatic downloads at our baptism; they are seeds that we have to nurture and grow over a lifetime. As we make our way through these, we’re going to start at the back end with self-control or “temperance” as it is sometimes translated.

Self-control is something that appears to be in short supply these days, especially when it comes to controlling our speech. The third chapter of James tells us that if we can keep our tongues in check, we can keep our whole bodies in check, and that seems like a claim worth investigating a little more closely. Is he right? Do other places in the Bible back that up? Do loose lips really sink ships? That’s what we’ll be looking at on Sunday.