31 Encouraging Bible Verses About Self-Control

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Self-control is a fundamental trait that is highly essential in living a life of righteousness and selflessness that reflects Jesus and brings glory to God. The modern way of living is focused on instant gratification and convenience, which often leads to an absence of self-control.

Nevertheless, many Biblical verses on self-control shed light on the deceptive nature of worldly promises, emphasizing the importance of addressing them through the practice of self-discipline.

Biblical Verses on Self-Control


Why It’s Essential to Have Self-control in Daily Life

Self-control is a vital aspect of our lives and essential in our interactions with others and our relationship with God. It is challenging to live a life of integrity and discipline without self-control.

Self-control helps us make better decisions, avoid temptation, and manage our lives in a way that pleases God. In fact, the Bible warns us about the consequences of a lack of self-control. Therefore, we must cultivate self-control in our daily lives to reflect God’s character and glorify Him through our lives.

“Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (WEB)

Romans 12:2 emphasizes the importance of not being shaped by the patterns of the world but instead undergoing a transformation through the renewal of the mind. This renewal allows individuals to discern and align with God’s perfect will.

“that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.”

Ephesians 4:22-24 (WEB)

Self-control will require you to leave behind the old way of life, often referred to as the “old self” or the “old man,” characterized by corrupt desires and deceitful lusts. It urges a renewal of the mind and the adoption of a new, righteous nature in alignment with God.

What is Self-Control?

Self-control is a character trait that allows individuals to regulate their thoughts, emotions, and actions. It is a fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 and essential to living a godly life.

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

Galatians 5:22-23 (WEB)

The ability to control oneself is not innate but can be developed through discipline and practice. Without self-control, individuals are likely to act impulsively and make poor choices. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize self-control in daily life to avoid negative consequences and reflect the character of God. Having self-control means turning away from earthly desires and focusing on spiritual growth, allowing oneself to be led by the Holy Spirit in all areas of life.

Biblical View On Self-Control

The Bible emphasizes the importance of self-control throughout its teachings, and there are several Biblical verses on self-control. The scripture also provides numerous examples of individuals who exhibited self-control in their lives.

Examples of Bible Characters that Showed Self-control

David, Nehemiah, and Jesus are just a few examples of Bible characters who demonstrated self-control in their lives.

David

Even when David had the chance, he chose not to harm King Saul. He resisted the urge because he believed it wasn’t the right thing to do. It showed his strong values and how he stayed true to himself, even in a tough situation.

Nehemiah

In the face of strong opposition, Nehemiah admirably kept his cool and remained unwaveringly focused on the task at hand: reconstructing the walls of Jerusalem. Despite challenges and naysayers, he stayed determined, never letting anything shake his commitment to the vital project of restoring the city’s fortifications. His resilience and steadfast dedication truly set an inspiring example for those around him, showcasing the power of staying composed and resolute amidst adversity.

Jesus

When Jesus found himself in the wilderness, facing the temptations presented by Satan, he leaned on the strength of God’s word to stand firm against these trials. Rather than succumbing to temptation, he relied on the teachings and guidance within scripture to overcome the challenges posed by the adversary. His unwavering faith and reliance on the wisdom of God’s word served as an incredible example, demonstrating the immense power and resilience found in staying true to one’s beliefs and drawing strength from divine guidance, even in the most trying of circumstances.

Essentially, the Bible underscores the importance of nurturing self-control as a virtuous trait. By engaging in consistent discipline and intentional practice, people can refine their capacity to govern thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, enabling them to make discerning choices and mirror the attributes of God.

This journey toward self-mastery spans a lifetime, demanding unwavering commitment and steadfast dedication yet offering remarkable personal growth and character refinement dividends.

Top Biblical Verses on Self-Control

Self-control is a crucial virtue for individuals to cultivate, and the Bible provides many Biblical verses on self-control to encourage self-discipline. Here are some of the top Bible verses you can study to learn more about self-control:

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

Proverbs 25:28 (ESV) 

This verse emphasizes the importance of self-control to protect and defend against temptation and sin.

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified.” 

1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV)

This verse shows the importance of self-control in maintaining one’s integrity and avoiding hypocrisy.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” 

Titus 2:11-12 (ESV)

This verse highlights the role of God’s grace (affiliate link) in enabling individuals to develop self-discipline and lead godly lives.

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

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

This verse lists self-control as one of the fruits of the Spirit, emphasizing its connection to a godly life.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” 

Romans 6:12-13 (ESV)

This verse encourages individuals to exercise self-control in resisting sin and living for God.

“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 (ESV)

This verse emphasizes the importance of self-control as a part of spiritual growth.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” 

1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)

This verse highlights the importance of self-control in avoiding addiction and being dominated by anything other than God.

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

2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

Self-control and a spirit free from fear contribute to sound judgment and a sound mind, aligning with a healthy and disciplined mindset.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

This verse encourages individuals to resist temptation and find a way out of difficult situations with self-control.

Bible Verses About Self-Control in Relationships

Self-control is essential in any relationship, whether it’s with family, friends, or romantic partners. The Bible provides many verses that teach individuals the importance of self-discipline in their relationships (affiliate link.) 

“Greater self-control is a man who controls his anger than a man who conquers a city.” 

Proverbs 16:32 (NIV)

This verse emphasizes the importance of self-control in managing anger and conflicts in relationships. 

“Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

1 Corinthians 7:5 (WEB)

Encourages regular intimacy between spouses but advises temporary abstinence by mutual agreement for prayer, avoiding temptations caused by lack of self-control.

“Flee from youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

2 Timothy 2:22 (WEB)

Urges avoidance of youthful desires and instead advocates pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace alongside those devoted to the Lord.

“that each one of you knows how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who don’t know God.”

1 Thessalonians 4:4-5 (WEB)

Encourages personal sanctification and honor in controlling one’s body, distinguishing believers from those who lack knowledge of God by rejecting lustful passions.

Biblical Verses on Self-Control in Anger

Self-control is a vital attribute to possess in managing anger and conflicts. The Bible teaches individuals the importance of self-discipline in controlling anger. 

“Don’t be hasty in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.”

Ecclesiastes 7:9 (WEB)

Advises against quick, impulsive anger as it’s a characteristic of foolishness.

“One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; one who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city.”

Proverbs 16:32 (WEB)

Emphasizes the strength in controlling one’s temper, highlighting that self-mastery is superior to physical might.

“Be angry, and don’t sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath, and don’t give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:26-27 (WEB)

Acknowledges the existence of anger but warns against it leading to sin, suggesting resolving conflicts promptly to prevent giving a foothold to negative influences.

“So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.”

James 1:19-20 (WEB)

Encourages listening and thoughtful responses over hasty anger, noting that human anger doesn’t align with God’s righteousness.

Biblical Verses on Self-Control in Speech

Self-control in speech is crucial due to its profound impact. Proverbs stresses the wisdom in speaking less and being cautious with words to avoid trouble and exhibit understanding. James underscores the futility of religious devotion without tongue control, highlighting speech’s role in guiding life. Both James and Proverbs showcase the tongue’s dual power, destructive and healing, emphasizing the need for measured, gentle words to resolve conflicts. Colossians champions gracious speech in every interaction, emphasizing the importance of wise words for self-discipline and fostering harmony. Overall, these verses converge on the significance of self-control in speech for maintaining peace, understanding, and spiritual integrity.

“He who spares his words has knowledge. He who is even-tempered is a man of understanding. Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise. When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning.”

Proverbs 17:27-28 (WEB)

Speaking sparingly demonstrates wisdom; even a fool appears wise when silent.

“Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

Proverbs 21:23 (WEB)

Guarding one’s speech protects from trouble and turmoil.

“If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless.”

James 1:26 (WEB)

Religion without controlling one’s tongue is empty and deceptive.

“For we all stumble in many things. Anyone who doesn’t stumble in word is a perfect person, able to bridle the whole body also.”

James 3:2 (WEB)

Mastery over speech signifies overall self-control; a person who controls speech can control the body.

“In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips does wisely.”

Proverbs 10:19 (WEB)

Too much talk invites sin, but restraining speech is wise.

“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Proverbs 29:20 (WEB)

Hastiness in speech is less hopeful than foolishness.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1 (WEB)

Calm and gentle responses diffuse conflict, while harsh words provoke anger.

“There is one who speaks rashly like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise heals.”

Proverbs 12:18 (WEB)

Rash speech hurts deeply, but wise words have healing power.

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

Colossians 4:6 (WEB)

Advocates for gracious and thoughtful speech in all interactions.

Bible Verses About Self Discipline in the Body

The verses below emphasize self-discipline in the entire body as a means to honor God, cultivate righteousness, and elevate spiritual well-being above worldly desires.

“Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (WEB)

Stresses the sanctity of our bodies as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, prompting us to honor God through our physical and spiritual actions, acknowledging that we belong to Him.

“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Hebrews 12:11 (WEB)

Acknowledges that discipline may be challenging at the moment but ultimately yields righteousness for those who undergo it, emphasizing its transformative nature.

“Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

Colossians 3:5 (WEB)

Urges the abandonment of earthly desires and behaviors that lead to idolatry, directing individuals to eradicate impure thoughts and actions from their lives.

“Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.”

Romans 12:1 (WEB)

It encourages presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, highlighting this act as a form of spiritual worship.

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables. Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come.”

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (WEB)

Advises against distracting myths and emphasizes striving for godliness, noting the value of physical exercise while highlighting the greater significance of godliness in both the present and eternal life.

Why it’s Essential to Put These Bible Verses into Practice

Exercising self-control holds immense significance within the Christian life, particularly in handling anger and resolving conflicts. These cited Biblical verses on self-control offer a roadmap for managing anger, communicating wisely, and navigating challenges according to God’s principles.

By embodying self-control, individuals mirror the example of Jesus and continually bring honor to God. Embracing these scriptures involves meditating on them, committing them to memory, and internalizing their guidance.

Through this practice, when faced with anger or temptation, believers can draw on God’s promises, empowering themselves to prioritize self-control over succumbing to sinful urges.

FAQ on the Topic of Self-Control

What is the best Bible verse about self-control?

The one who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and the one who rules his spirit than the one who captures a city. – Proverbs 16:32 (NASB)

What did Jesus teach about self-control?

Jesus taught that self-control is essential for leading a righteous life and resisting temptations. He emphasized the need to control one’s thoughts, speech, and actions and to avoid indulging in harmful behaviors. Jesus encouraged believers to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him, demonstrating the importance of self-discipline in following God’s will.

How do we have self-control, according to the Bible?

According to the Bible, self-control involves discipline and restraint in one’s words, actions, and thoughts. It is about aligning oneself with God’s will and allowing His Spirit to guide and empower self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

What is self-control as a fruit of the Spirit?

Self-control is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, listed in the Bible. It refers to the ability to restrain oneself from giving in to harmful desires, impulses, or temptations.

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