Self-governance is a fruit of the Spirit. It means we curb our selfishness and choose to love our neighbor as ourselves. When we are self-governing, God is our King. We serve God as our ruler by stewarding our own life and participating in the complex system of the body of Christ.
The alternative is tyranny. At a personal level, the tyrant is our flesh.
Romans 1 gives a sobering warning. If we insist on pursuing our lusts, God will relent, and “give us over” to the flesh. To be ruled by the tyrant. If we still persist, we are “given over” to a “debased mind” – we are no longer able to govern ourselves – we can’t even think straight.
Sin leads to addiction, then to loss of perspective. So why does sin still seem so attractive?
We are drawn to what appears to be the easy road, the comfortable path. We are drawn to be like the rest of the world. We are drawn to the tyrant. We want a quick fix, an easy out, a simple solution. Like all things superficial, the tyrant of the flesh offers ease and understanding and control.
Self-governance is harder. Like love, it is complex and humbling. Hard to wrap our heads around or hold in our hands. It leads us to “acknowledge God” rather than lean on our own power and understanding.
To be self-governing we must choose to trust God over self as well as choosing to submit to the Spirit rather than the flesh.