I'm gonna break this particular 'Fruitage of the Spirit' into 2 posts. Because I realized that there's multiple aspects it can apply to...but it basically breaks down into 2 main categories:
(1) cultivating self-control in regards to ourselves...(our own wrong thoughts, inclinations, and desires).
(2) cultivating self-control in regards to outside influences...(what we allow ourselves to pursue in life, and how much time we spend pursuing it).
It's hard enough to "get the mastery" over ourselves when it comes to our thoughts & emotions and our inherited inclination towards sin. (Genesis 4:7) But we also have the added pressure of living in a very affluent nation where there's a vitual 'non-stop' availability of whatever pleasure we wish to indulge in at our fingertips - 24/7 - and that includes normal, wholesome activities, which can take up so much of our time that we end up becoming spiritually unbalanced.
When you think about the sheer amount of sensory stimulation available to us, such as: sports, music, shopping, theater, cinema, TV, the internet, gaming, food, alcohol, travel, social clubs, (and every other form of entertainment and recreational activity that people engage in) it's not hard to see why cultivating self-control is so important.
*I added the symposium-part about cultivating the fruitage of self-control to my audio download page, and the brother giving the talk mentioned that here in AZ, the 3 biggest areas that are causing many Witnesses to become spiritually unbalanced, are excessive time spent in the following areas:
(2) The Computer (both the internet and gaming)
(3) Outdoor recreation
So before posting more indepth reference material regarding this particular 'Fruitage of the Spirit' (which I'll do in pt 2) I wanted to post some links from the website which offer practical advice in regards to the specific areas mentioned in the symposium part, since those seem to be the biggest problem for everyone.
TV: Take Control
Computer: The Internet & Gaming
Recreation: Should You Live Only For Today?