What Does The Bible Say About Self Control?


The Bible has a great deal to say about self-control.

It is one of the most important character traits, and it is essential for success in all areas of life. The Bible says that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit and that it is one of the most important things we can do to please God.

Self-control is not easy to achieve, but it is worth the effort. It enables us to overcome temptation, resist anger, and overcome addictive behaviors. It allows us to stay focused on our goals and stay in control of our emotions.

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The Bible offers many tips for developing self-control, and below are some of the most important ones.

self-control in the Bible

What Is Self Control?

Self-control is the ability to resist temptation and overcome destructive impulses.

It is the ability to make good decisions even when you are under pressure or facing difficult choices. It is the ability to stay calm and rational in stressful situations.

Self-control is essential for healthy relationships, productive work habits, and wise decision-making. It is a key ingredient for a successful life.

In the Bible, self-control is viewed as a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). It is listed alongside other traits that glorify God, such as love, joy, peace, and patience. That’s because self-control is an important part of living a life of integrity and obedience to God’s commands.

The Bible also speaks about the importance of temperance or self-discipline. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” Here, the lack of self-control is described as having the same consequences as having a broken down city wall which cannot protect the city from attack.

In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about having self-control in the areas of food, drink, and sexual purity. He wrote, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” (1 Corinthians 10:24). Here he is teaching us that our actions should not be motivated by selfishness and indulgence but rather in a way that is helpful and beneficial to those around us.

Self-control is also discussed in other areas of the Bible, such as in Proverbs. Proverbs 16:32 teaches us, “Better to be slow to anger than to be a powerful warrior, and one who controls his temper than one who captures a city.” This verse emphasizes the importance of controlling our emotions and impulses. It is better to have mastery over our own passions and anger than to be a formidable warrior.

Examples of Self Control in the Bible

The Bible is full of examples of self-control.

An example is the story of Esther. Esther was able to resist the temptation to sleep with the king, even though it would have saved her life. She knew that if she gave in to temptation, she would lose her power and influence.

The Bible teaches that self-control is one of the most important virtues a person can possess. It is essential for living a good life and fulfilling one’s God-given potential.

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom on self-control. For example, Proverbs 25:28 says, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” This verse teaches us that without self-control, we are vulnerable to danger and destruction.

Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, encourages us to “walk in the Spirit.” By doing this, we can develop the self-control necessary to resist temptation and keep our hearts and minds focused on what is good.

Lastly, James 1:19-20 reminds us to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Being able to calm ourselves and think before we speak or react is a crucial part of self-control.

The Bible teaches us that self-control is a vital part of living a life that honors God and builds our character. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can learn to control our thoughts, feelings, and actions and live in ways that are pleasing to God.

How Can I Strengthen My Self Control?

Here are three ways that you can strengthen your self control:

  1. Make a commitment to yourself. Set aside time each day to work on your self-control.
  2. Avoid temptation. Stay away from situations that might lead to temptation.
  3. Use positive reinforcement. Reward yourself for completing tasks or making good decisions.
  4. Get plenty of rest. Being overly tired can make it difficult to practice self-control.
  5. Be intentional about your thoughts. Choose to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
  6. Develop relationships with people who are positive role models. Having someone you can look up to can help you make more positive choices.
  7. Find healthy outlets for emotions. Being able to express your emotions in a safe and healthy way can help with self-control.
  8. Practice mindfulness. Becoming aware of the present moment can help you to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
  9. Take time to think before you act. Make sure you’re aware of potential consequences before making a decision.
  10. Be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes, and berating ourselves won’t help you with self-control.
  11. Create a plan. Set clear and achievable goals and create a plan to complete them.

These are just a few ways that you can begin to strengthen your self-control. It would be wise to find a mentor or counselor to help you in this process. A good mentor or counselor can help you identify negative thought processes, give you tools to cope, and challenge you to achieve personal goals that will help you develop and maintain better self-control.

By combining these techniques with a commitment from yourself and the support of an outside mentor, you can build the strength of your self-control and be more successful in life.

What Bible Verses Speak to Self Control?

The Bible is filled with verses about self-control, encouraging you to gain mastery over yourself. Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city” (NIV). This verse reminds us that it is better to practice patience and self-control than to act rashly in pursuit of our own desires.

2 Timothy 1:7 also speaks to the importance of self-control, saying, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (ESV). This verse emphasizes that in order to effectively share God’s love with others and grow in our own faith journey, we need to exercise patience and control over our passions.

What Practical Advice Does the Bible Offer on Self-Control?

So, what practical advice does the Bible offer when it comes to self-control? One of the best pieces of advice is to learn how to manage your thoughts. Philippians 4:8 says,  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  

This means that if we are mindful of our thoughts and only focus on positive ones, we can cultivate a better attitude and be more successful in achieving our goals. The key to self-control is learning to recognize negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

The Bible also offers advice about the importance of looking to the future. Proverbs 23:18 says, “For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.” This means that it is important to keep in mind that there is something after this life and to stay focused on the bigger picture. By focusing on the future, we can stay motivated to stay disciplined in the present.

Additionally, the Bible teaches us to be patient and to wait on God. Galatians 6:9 states, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Patience is a necessary trait for achieving any goal, and it requires self-control to stay the course. By being patient and trusting in God’s plan, we can focus on staying on track and reaching our goals.

Finally, the Bible encourages us to trust in God and lean on Him for strength. Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

This is an important reminder that we do not need to rely on our own strength but on God’s strength to help us stay disciplined and have self-control. Ultimately, the Bible provides us with practical advice and wisdom to help us maintain self-control in all aspects of our lives.

What Are the Fruits of Self-Control?

According to the Bible, the fruits of self-control are multiple. Self-control enables you to resist temptation and make wise choices. It gives you the power to think things through before making a decision and makes it easier to say “no” to things that may be harmful or hurtful. It also provides mental clarity and a sense of peace as you remain grounded in your convictions and true character.

The Bible teaches that self-control is greatly rewarded, as it leads to the capacity for greater joy, meaningful relationships, and healthy living. Self-control is part of a larger concept of perseverance, which requires an understanding of enduring despite difficulties or deprivation. In other words, when you practice self-control in life, you learn both lessons of endurance and patience – all necessary steps in finding your path toward true contentment.


The Bible has a great deal to say about self-control. For one, self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit, which means that it is a character trait that the Holy Spirit produces in believers. Additionally, the Bible teaches that self-control is essential for a life that is fulfilling and pleasing to God.

Those who lack self-control are often controlled by their passions and desires, which leads to all sorts of problems. On the other hand, those who have mastered self-control are able to control their thoughts, emotions, and actions, and they are able to resist temptation.

If you want to live a life that is pleasing to God, then you need to learn to control yourself. The Bible is full of helpful advice on how to do this.

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