When the head coach of a university baseball team retired, one sportswriter noted an amazing statistic. While winning 1,466 games, 22 conference championships, and 2 national titles, this coach was never ejected from a game by an umpire. A former player described his coach as “a legend, a winner, but above everything else, he’s a gentleman, on and off the field.”

That tribute made me stop and consider my behavior in the game of life. Amid daily pressures and confrontations, how do I react to people at home, at work, or on the highway? Are my words and actions consistent with my profession of faith in Christ?

It’s clear from Scripture that God places great value on self-control: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32). A patient person receives greater commendation than a powerful warrior. A person whose temper is under control rates higher marks than a conquering hero.

One fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5:23 is self-control. That quality enables us to stay composed when anger flares all around us. And that’s one of the most important victories we could ever win.