What Does the Bible Say About Self Control?

What Does the Bible Say About Self Control?

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What Does the Bible Say About Self Control

Self-control, a virtue celebrated not only in the Bible but across various cultures and religions, plays a pivotal role in guiding individuals towards a more righteous and disciplined life. In this exploration, we delve into the depths of the scriptures to unravel what the Bible specifically says about self-control. Our journey will encompass not only the biblical verses themselves but also their practical applications in our contemporary lives.

The Foundation of Self-Control in the Bible

To comprehend what the Bible teaches us about self-control, it’s imperative to lay a solid foundation. The Bible portrays self-control as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, as elucidated in Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV):

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”

Here, self-control is depicted as an essential characteristic that emerges when one is spiritually aligned. It’s not a mere act of willpower but a manifestation of divine presence within us.

Self-Control Over Desires and Temptations

A prominent theme in the Bible is the call to exercise self-control over our desires and resist temptations. This theme is exemplified in numerous passages, with one of the most well-known being 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV):

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

This verse reassures believers that God not only understands their struggles but also empowers them with the strength to exercise self-control when faced with temptations. It underscores the idea that self-control is a cooperative effort between human willpower and divine support.

Self-Control in Speech and Anger

The Bible doesn’t limit self-control to resisting sinful desires but extends it to our words and emotions. Proverbs 25:28 (NIV) states:

“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of controlling one’s words and temper. It draws a parallel between a city without defenses and a person without self-control, both vulnerable to chaos and destruction. It teaches us that self-control is not confined to our inner thoughts but must also govern our external expressions.

Self-Control and the Mind

In the New Testament, we find teachings that underscore the significance of self-control in the realm of the mind. Romans 12:2 (NIV) offers guidance in this regard:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This verse encourages believers to exercise self-control over their thought patterns. It highlights the need to align one’s thinking with God’s will and not succumb to the negative influences of the world. This is a powerful reminder that self-control begins in the mind and is the gateway to discerning God’s plan for our lives.

Practical Applications of Self-Control

While the Bible provides profound insights into self-control, it’s essential to translate these teachings into practical actions in our daily lives. Here are some key takeaways:

1.Prayer and Meditation: Regular prayer and meditation can help strengthen your self-control by fostering a deeper connection with God and inviting His guidance in your life.

2.Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. This awareness is the first step in exercising control over them.

3.Accountability: Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow believers who can hold you accountable for your actions and help you stay on the path of self-control.

4.Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries in areas where you struggle with self-control, whether it’s in relationships, finances, or other aspects of life. These boundaries act as safeguards against temptation.

5.Seek God’s Strength: Recognize that self-control is not solely reliant on your willpower but also on God’s grace. When faced with challenges, seek His strength to overcome them.


In conclusion, the Bible offers profound guidance on self-control, emphasizing its importance as a fruit of the Holy Spirit and a vital aspect of Christian living. It teaches us to exercise self-control over our desires, words, emotions, and thoughts. Through prayer, mindfulness, accountability, and reliance on God’s strength, we can cultivate self-control in our lives, allowing us to lead more righteous and disciplined lives in accordance with God’s will. Remember, self-control is not a solitary journey but a collaborative effort between your will and the divine presence within you. As you embrace self-control, you embrace a deeper connection with God and the transformation of your heart and mind.


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Joy Chinonyerem

Joy Chinonyerem is an ardent follower of Christ who believes in Living the Christian Life according to the tenets set by Christ himself. She is passionate about Walking by Faith, as commanded by the scriptures and uses her blog, Walking By Faith Blog, to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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