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30+ Bible Verses About Self Control: What Does Scripture Say?

We’ve all been there in the past.

When the devil tempts you, and you are thinking of your next move.

You are unmistakably sure of the right thing to do.

But your subconscious is saying something different — most likely, a wrong action you will soon regret.

If you are struggling to make the right decisions again, It’s time to re-edify yourself with bible verses about self-control.

We all agree that the devil’s actions are tailored to our deceit.

He tries to tempt us with short-term pleasures.

The devil tells us to fornicate because he knows we may accept the idea.

He tells us to steal because it’s an easy way to get rich quickly.

But thank God for our conscience.

Each time the devil tempts us, we are told the right thing to do through the power of God’s spirit.

Should I Go along and commit this sin? Will my Father in heaven be happy with my next move?

I’ve had my own struggles in the past with bad habits.

For more than four years of my life, I was addicted to smoking.

It all started because of a girl I met in my second year.

And soon, it became a part of me.

Year after year, I could not resist that immediate satisfaction I get from the first few puffs.

Everything changed the day I learned how to control my mind.

And by God’s grace, I have stopped smoking for years now.

Likewise, you may be struggling with various types of temptation.

Whatever the situation, you must exhibit dominion over the affairs of your body.

Paul said,

I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:27

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11 Bible verses about self-control

Bible verses about self-control

I have compiled a list of bible verses to edify you about self-disciple while in God’s service

1. Proverbs 25:28 on the need for Self-control

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Have you ever seen a city with broken walls? Proverbs 25:28 equates such a city to a person without self-control. Vulnerable, chaotic, and open to attack – that’s how our lives can become without self-control.

Let’s reflect on Joseph’s story from Genesis 39:12. He found himself in a tough spot. His master’s wife attempted to seduce him. Despite the high stakes, Joseph exercised self-control. He honored God instead of succumbing to temptation. This historical example illustrates the power of self-control in action.

1 Corinthians 9:27, penned by Paul, reinforces the importance of self-control. Paul compares our lives to that of an athlete in training, working hard to win a prize that won’t perish. This discipline extends to our spiritual lives, urging us to master our bodies and desires.

Achieving such self-control might sound daunting. Here, Galatians 5:16 provides guidance. It urges us to walk by the Spirit, not to gratify fleshly desires. The Spirit empowers us to control our impulses, shaping our desires and actions according to God’s will.

Let’s bring this to a relatable context. Imagine someone you know who consistently chooses healthy food over unhealthy options. This person exhibits self-control, preferring a healthier lifestyle over momentary satisfaction. This daily choice isn’t merely about diet but about cultivating discipline and control.

Proverbs 25:28 underscores the dangers of lacking self-control. It leaves us like an undefended city, open to damage.

But with self-control, fostered by the Spirit and personal discipline, we can build resilience. We can construct robust defenses against harmful impulses. Like Joseph and Paul, we can choose to honor God and prioritize spiritual health.

In closing, self-control plays a crucial role in our lives. Our aim should be to live like a fortified city, resilient and strong, exhibiting self-control in all we do. We’re not left to achieve this alone, but with divine assistance, we can indeed master self-control.

2.  2 Peter 1:5-6 on supplementing our faith with self-control

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,

2 Peter 1:5-6, an apostolic recipe for spiritual growth, underscores the crucial bond between faith and self-control. Faith, often ethereal, gains practical grounding through self-control. This blend allows us to effectively navigate life, growing and maturing in the process.

Take a look at Daniel’s story from the Old Testament. His unyielding faith in God wasn’t simply a hidden belief; it was alive, transforming his choices and actions. In the grand Babylonian court, surrounded by royal food and wine, Daniel chose not to defile himself (Daniel 1:8).

Imagine being in his shoes! The rich aroma of Babylonian delicacies wafting around, yet, he stood steadfast, his faith held in check by self-control.

Today, our “Babylonian feasts” are manifold distractions. For a student, it’s a choice between the latest episode of a trending series and diligent study. Here, self-control is the silent cheerleader that champions focus over fleeting entertainment.

Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:1-3 enrich our grasp of self-control. He advises us to embody humility and patience. Humility checks our ego, while patience tames our desire for immediate gratification. These traits, coupled with self-control, craft a Christlike character.

Christ’s role is central in this pursuit. According to Philippians 4:13, His strength becomes our backbone when our determination wavers. It fuels our self-control, propelling us when hurdles arise.

2 Peter 1:5-6 lays out a ladder of growth where faith leads to virtue, virtue to knowledge, knowledge to self-control, and so forth. Each rung is crucial, each quality enabling the next.

Practically supplementing faith with self-control begins with everyday choices. Choosing a Bible chapter over social media, or a soft answer over harsh words. These seemingly small decisions exercise our self-control ‘muscle.’

In summary, self-control, vital for spiritual growth, complements faith and is nurtured by humility and patience. Fueled by Christ’s strength, we can foster this trait and foster holistic growth.

This synergy of faith and self-control is the journey 2 Peter 1:5-6 invites us to embark on. Are you ready?

3.  1 Peter 4:7  Being self-controlled for our prayers

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers

Self-control: a critical, yet often elusive, Christian discipline. The Apostle Peter emphasizes its significance in 1 Peter 4:7. Here, he pens a timely warning, urging believers to stay alert and of sober mind. The urgency is clear, framed in the context of the looming end times.

This verse presents a dual call. First, it beckons us to acknowledge the imminent return of Christ. Second, it asks us to display readiness for this event. How? By exercising self-control. This trait is crucial, shaping our prayers and expectations in light of Christ’s return.

Yet, what does biblical self-control look like? Luke 21:34 provides insight. Jesus warns against an indulgent life. He speaks of carousing, drunkenness, life’s distractions.

His message is stark – such behavior numbs our spiritual awareness. It blocks our view of God’s reality. Our defense? Self-control. It acts as a spiritual wake-up call, keeping our faith sharp and responsive.

Another perspective appears in Romans 13:13. Paul’s words paint a picture of a self-controlled life. He defines it as behaving decently, shunning discord, jealousy, and indulgence. Here, decency and self-control intertwine, forming the fabric of a virtuous life.

As I reflect, I realize that our response to Christ’s return should spark self-control. It instills a sense of urgency. It motivates us to live each day as our last.

Take Nehemiah, for instance. Amidst rubble, opposition, and threats, Nehemiah was tasked with rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It was no easy feat.

Yet, Nehemiah remained laser-focused, displaying remarkable self-control. His resolve in the face of distractions offers us a profound model of how self-control can help us maintain our focus on God and his work.

You might wonder, “But how does this apply to me?” Think of a time when you’ve been wronged, when retaliation seemed like the only course of action.

But instead of succumbing to the natural impulse to fight back, you chose the high road, to respond calmly, assertively. In that moment, you exercised self-control.

In sum, self-control is more than a virtue. It’s a divine call, central to our Christian journey. It prepares us for Christ’s return, aids us in resisting temptations, and guides us through trials.

As we face life’s hurdles, let’s echo Peter’s call. Let’s strive for self-control, staying ready for Christ’s glorious return.

4.  2 Timothy 1:7 we all have the power of self-control

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Understanding self-control is enlightening, especially from a biblical lens. The verse 2 Timothy 1:7 offers a view into the essence of self-control.

We gather from Timothy and Romans 8:15 that the Spirit we possess is one of freedom, not fear. This Spirit, infused with love and power, motivates us to take control of our actions. It instills bravery in us to stand strong against adversities.

Fear can stifle us, making us lose control. But a spirit of power, love, and self-control turns the tide. It gives us the strength to stay steadfast amidst turmoil. It also fills our hearts with love that overcomes fear and equips us with self-control.

Ephesians 3:12 fortifies this idea. It states that our faith gives us the confidence to face challenges. Our faith, then, becomes a catalyst for our self-control.

Living with a spirit of power, love, and self-control can be life-changing. Instead of being dominated by fear and anxiety, we can lead lives fueled by courage and discipline. Take David’s example. He exercised extraordinary self-control, sparing Saul’s life twice, despite being a target himself.

In daily life, I see examples of self-control continually. Take, for instance, a driver obeying speed limits even when late. This act reflects self-control, valuing safety over punctuality.

To sum up, self-control is anchored in the Spirit gifted to us—a Spirit characterized by power, love, and a sound mind, not fear. Our faith and confidence allow us to tap into this power. We can exhibit self-control in all aspects of life, just as David did and as we can in our daily routines.

Let’s keep in mind that fear is not part of our divine endowment and utilize the gift of self-control generously granted to us.

5.  Galatians 5: 22-23 on Self-control as a gift of the holy spirit

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

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

What’s the essence of self-control? This question shaped my early faith journey. Today, I invite you to explore Galatians 5:22-23. This passage offers a vibrant palette of spiritual fruits, with self-control rounding off the list.

Consider an orchard. Unique trees abound, each yielding distinct fruit. However, they share the same life source. This mirrors the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – all gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Why focus on self-control? It’s the final fruit in Galatians, indicating its pivotal role. It’s the gatekeeper, the trait that steers us towards godliness.

Paul, in Ephesians 5:9, presents the fruit of light: goodness, righteousness, and truth. Linked intimately with self-control, these virtues illuminate our paths, guiding us away from our shadowy weaknesses.

Next, we visit Romans 8:6. The stark contrast between a flesh-led mind and a Spirit-led mind is evident. The latter promises life and peace. Self-control, thus, is key to unlocking this spiritual serenity.

Let’s look at Jesus’ wilderness trial in Matthew 4:1-11. Amid physical weakness, His self-control shone brightly. Despite temptations, He stood firm, His words reflecting His divine self-control.

The Holy Spirit’s role is crucial. Self-control isn’t merely willpower; it’s a profound spiritual gift, empowered by the Spirit. As a tree needs sustenance to bear fruit, we need the Spirit’s influence for self-control.

Lastly, imagine a heated argument. You’re at the receiving end of unfair accusations. Anger surges, but you remember the Spirit’s fruit. You breathe deeply, restrain your anger, and respond respectfully. This real-life self-control mirrors the Spirit’s work in us.

To sum up, self-control is vital in our spiritual development. Although challenging, it’s not a solitary endeavor. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can bear this fruit daily. Let’s embrace self-control, letting it guide our spiritual path.

6.  Titus 2:11-12 on being self-controlled and upright in God’s service

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age

We find a profound lesson about self-control in Titus 2:11-12, courtesy of Apostle Paul. He presents God’s grace as a guide, not just a savior, steering us toward self-controlled lives.

Self-control here isn’t just willpower. Rather, it’s divine, fueled by God’s grace. It’s about being shaped and molded by the grace that saves us.

Romans 12:2 complements this concept. It calls for mind renewal, a pivotal element in self-control. As our minds align with God’s word, our desires adjust. This internal transformation lessens the struggle with worldly desires.

Ephesians 4:22-24 further clarifies this change. It urges us to shed our old selves and embrace the new. This “new self” is naturally self-controlled, crafted in God’s image.

This transformation is a passport to renouncing worldly passions. It’s about trading enslavement by desires for sensible, godly living. This freedom is the essence of self-control.

Reflect on Paul’s story. Despite numerous tribulations, his self-control remained unshakeable, testament to his mind renewal and adoption of his new self (2 Corinthians 11:24-27).

In our day-to-day lives, we see examples of this same kind of self-control. I’ve seen individuals exercise this when they resist the allure of an impulse purchase.

Instead of succumbing to the momentary thrill of buying a luxury item, they exercise financial self-control, choosing to save for what truly matters. The new self in them, transformed and renewed, values long-term stability over short-lived pleasure.

In conclusion, a self-controlled life is a transformative journey, made possible by God’s grace. As we tread this path, let’s draw inspiration from Paul and others, embracing self-control in our lives.

7.  Titus 1:8 on self-control as a quality for being a leader in the church

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

Leadership, particularly in a spiritual context, comes with high standards. In Titus 1:8, self-control is emphasized. It’s a trait vital for those guiding others on their faith journey.

What does self-control mean in this context? It’s about maintaining sobriety of mind, presenting respectability – qualities all believers should possess. Self-control is a cornerstone of character, mirrored in the qualifications for leaders in 1 Timothy 3:2-3. It forms the basis of a respectable and peaceful demeanor.

In the Bible, we find a meaningful metaphor. In 1 Corinthians 9:25, athletes exhibit remarkable self-control to secure a prize. For us, our race leads to an imperishable reward. It’s a journey needing discipline, self-control, and focus.

There’s a deeper level to self-control in Titus 1:8. The verse mentions hospitality and love for good – qualities inherently linked to self-control. It’s not only about refraining from wrong but eagerly pursuing what’s right.

Consider Moses’ interaction with Pharaoh. Despite continuous rejection, Moses remained composed and persistent, exemplifying self-control (Exodus 5-12). Similarly, imagine a leader criticized, yet responding constructively. Both instances illustrate self-control in action. But how can we cultivate it?

Recognize personal limitations and the need for divine intervention. The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in developing self-control (Galatians 5:23). Introspection is another tool. Be aware of circumstances that challenge self-control, and devise healthy responses. Finally, seek a supportive community to bolster your journey.

In summary, self-control is a pivotal virtue. For leadership or daily Christian life, we must strive for it. The race is indeed challenging, but the reward is worth every stride.

8.  1 Timothy 3:2

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

In the Biblical world, 1 Timothy 3:2 serves as a compass for leadership. It emphasizes self-control as a key trait. This trait, like a North Star, guides a leader in the stormiest of seas.

The standard set for leaders in 1 Timothy 3:2 is high. It says an overseer should be “above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.” Self-control is not a plus, it’s a must.

Consider the Biblical figure of Job. Despite his wife’s advice to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9-10), he held on to his faith. He exemplified self-control, remaining unwavering amidst his trials.

In the realm of leadership, Titus (the prior verse) and Timothy hold common ground. They both underline the importance of self-control, alongside qualities such as being able to teach and being hospitable.

Self-control takes center stage in 1 Peter 5:2-3 as well. Leaders are portrayed as shepherds who guide their flock willingly. It’s not by force but by example, and here self-control has a significant role to play.

How does self-control manifest in real-life situations? Let’s take the example of a sports coach. When the team underperforms, it’s tempting to criticize and react harshly.

However, a coach demonstrating self-control motivates and guides the team, turning the situation into a learning opportunity. This aligns with the Biblical mandate of being ‘respectable’, ‘hospitable’, and ‘able to teach’.

In sum, self-control, as highlighted in 1 Timothy 3:2, is a challenge and an invitation to effective leadership. Let’s strive to be like Job, holding firm to self-control amidst the storms. Remember, true leadership is not about leading but inspiring others to follow.

9.  Proverbs 16:32 — Bible verse about self-control and anger

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 16:32 astutely observes: “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Quite intriguing, isn’t it? It’s an elegant portrayal of inner strength overshadowing physical prowess.

Here, a tempered spirit outshines even the mightiest warrior. This illustration challenges us to rule our impulses rather than conquering cities.

Let’s delve into James 1:19: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” This scripture offers a blueprint for self-control. It calls us to active, attentive listening, and measured response, a balance that requires self-mastery.

Ephesians 4:26-27 then provides crucial insight: “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Anger isn’t inherently sinful; it’s our reaction that matters. Handling anger wisely is a display of self-control – addressing issues promptly, preventing resentment, and evading the devil’s foothold.

The biblical account of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41 epitomizes self-control. Even amid terrifying chaos, Jesus maintained an extraordinary calm. He didn’t succumb to panic; he simply commanded, “Peace! Be still!” His self-control brought forth peace, a lesson for us in navigating our life’s storms.

Similarly, Jesus’ composure before Pilate in John 18:33-37 is a testament to self-control. Despite the looming crucifixion, he responded with composed patience, not anger or defensiveness.

Life will serve us ‘storms’ and ‘Pilates,’ but with self-control, we can sail through unscathed. Active listening, slow response, and wise handling of anger serve as our compass. When anger looms, we should address it, not let it fester.

I encourage you to remember these scriptures when challenges arise. Channel your inner warrior to master emotions rather than cities. Though difficult, self-control paves the way to peace and righteousness. It’s indeed a battle worth fighting.

10.  1 John 4:18-19

Bible Verses About Self Control What Does the Scripture Say

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

Faith’s journey sees self-control as a fortress, warding off fear and doubt. A closer look at 1 John 4:18-19 uncovers this. The scripture states, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear… We love because he first loved us.” This verse is a lighthouse for those navigating the seas of self-control.

Love, fear, and self-control are intricate partners. Fear, unchecked, can distort our behaviors. Love, however, brings a balance. It guides our actions, and self-control sets the boundaries.

The life of Peter, a disciple of Jesus, mirrors this. Overwhelmed with fear, Peter denied Jesus thrice. But upon experiencing Jesus’ forgiving love, he transformed. He chose to proclaim the gospel fearlessly. It was a clear display of love-induced self-control.

A real-life analogy makes this clearer. Consider someone terrified of public speaking. Their heart races at the thought of addressing a crowd. They decide to conquer this fear, driven by their love for personal growth.

Their fear gets channeled into self-control, fueling rigorous preparation and practice. Each triumph reinforces the power of love and self-control.

Romans 8:15 and 2 Timothy 1:7 offer more insights. They remind us of our spirit of power, love, and self-control. We’re God’s children, capable of calling Him ‘Father’ with confidence.

Understanding God’s love helps us to manage our fears. This perfect love boosts our self-control, empowering us to live boldly.

In summary, God’s perfect love drives out fear. It’s a profound, selfless love that liberates us and instills self-control. This love, as we grow to understand it, transforms us. It equips us to act with love and self-control rather than react from fear.

The intertwining of love and self-control guides us through life. By leaning into God’s perfect love, we gain the power to face fears and control our responses.

It’s a journey worth embracing for a life full of love, devoid of fear, and brimming with self-control.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Bible verses on self-control in Proverbs?

Proverbs, the biblical book of wisdom, often mentions self-control. Proverbs 25:28 compares a person without self-control to a city breached without walls – both are vulnerable and unprotected.

Further, Proverbs 16:32 asserts that the person with self-control surpasses the warrior, and the patient one outdoes the city-taker. These verses underscore the critical role self-control plays in maintaining personal and spiritual integrity.

Can you provide examples of self-control in the Bible?

Self-control permeates many biblical narratives. In Genesis 39, Joseph embodies self-control by resisting Potiphar’s wife’s seduction.

Similarly, in the New Testament, Jesus presents the epitome of self-control during his desert temptation by Satan, as documented in Matthew 4:1-11.

Both figures triumph over temptation, demonstrating the power and virtue of self-control.

What are the consequences of lack of self-control in the Bible?

In the Bible, a lack of self-control leads to dire consequences. Genesis 3 tells of Adam and Eve’s disobedience and lack of restraint, resulting in their expulsion from Eden and the advent of sin.

King David’s uncontrollable desire for Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11 incurs severe repercussions, including their child’s death. These examples underline the Bible’s view of uncontrolled desires as a path to detrimental outcomes.

Is there a scripture prayer specifically for self-control?

There isn’t a specific prayer for self-control in the scriptures. However, believers often turn to verses like 2 Timothy 1:7 as a foundation for their prayers.

This verse emphasizes that God endows us with a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind – the last term often equated with self-discipline or self-control.

Are there any Bible verses that talk about patience and self-control?

The Bible contains numerous verses addressing patience and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 lists both virtues as the fruits of the Spirit.

Similarly, 2 Peter 1:5-6 encourages believers to supplement their faith with virtues like knowledge, self-control, and perseverance. These passages emphasize the interconnectedness of these virtues in spiritual growth.

Which Bible verse mentions self-control as a fruit of the spirit?

Galatians 5:22-23 specifically enumerates self-control as a fruit of the Spirit, listed among virtues like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, and goodness.

The verse suggests that self-control, as part of the Spirit’s fruit, is a characteristic that those who live by the Spirit should manifest.



Author: Akatakpo DunnDr. Akatakpo Dunn is a dedicated follower of Christ, an active member and speaker, and an ongoing learner of the Scriptures. Passionate about his faith and serving others, he is committed to sharing his spiritual journey and insights to inspire and uplift fellow believers. He has been active in the church for more than 23 years. Through The Faithful Christian Blog, Dr. Dunn combines his love for God, philanthropy, and Scripture, providing a valuable resource for those seeking to grow in their faith. Follow me: on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Akatakpo Dunn

Dr. Akatakpo Dunn is a dedicated follower of Christ, an active member and speaker, and an ongoing learner of the Scriptures. Passionate about his faith and serving others, he is committed to sharing his spiritual journey and insights to inspire and uplift fellow believers. He has been active in the church for more than 23 years. Through The Faithful Christian Blog, Dr. Dunn combines his love for God, philanthropy, and Scripture, providing a valuable resource for those seeking to grow in their faith. Follow me: on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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