Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

Self-Control image from ShareFaith
Self-Control image from ShareFaith

This is the last segment of my series on Fruit of the Spirit. I started these back in July 2012. The segment is on Self-Control.

According to the word self-control is used 13 times in the New International Version (NIV) and 0 times in the King James Version (KJV). I also decided to check the Amplified Bible and it shows the word 11 times in the Bible. The Holman Christian Standard Bible uses Self-Control 12 times. The King James Version uses the word temperance, instead of Self-Control. Now if we use the word “temperance” alone it is used 3 times in the KJV.

So what is self-control or word temperance?

  1. It is showing self-restraint
  2. Abstain
  3. To be sober.
  4. Being self-disciplined.
  5. To turn away from or repent.

Better to Marry than to Burn

But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire]. 1 Corinthians 7:9 (Amplified Bible)

But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with desire. 1 Corinthians 7:9 (Holman Standard Bible)

As the verse shows above, it is better that you two get married then to engage in sexual activity. Those who practice adultery will not inherit the kingdom of God. (See 1 Corinthians 6:9). It also says for those married must not deprive each other either except in agreed dedication to prayer. Because the depriving can cause a lack of self-control by Satan. (See 1 Corinthians 7:5) 

Leader or Bishop/Overseer

3 The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work). Now a bishop (superintendent, overseer) must give no grounds for accusation but must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, circumspect and temperate and self-controlled; [he must be] sensible and well behaved and dignified and lead an orderly (disciplined) life; [he must be] hospitable [showing love for and being a friend to the believers, especially strangers or foreigners, and be] a capable and qualified teacher, Not given to wine, not combative but gentle and considerate, not quarrelsome but forbearingand peaceable, and not a lover of money [insatiable for wealth and ready to obtain it by questionable means]. 1 Timothy 3:1-3 (Amplified Bible)

As you can see on the above verse it shows a person of leadership in the church must show Self-Control too. They must show great self-control because they are looked up as a leader. They are strongly watched by those under the leadership of that person. That person shows the example by not only sharing God’s word but also setting the example on how to live. Now, your leader will fall and sin, because we ALL sin! Even your preacher. If he says he doesn’t sin, he is a liar.

Grace of God

11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. 12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world, 13 Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (Titus 2:11-13)

The above verse shows us with God, he will deliver us out and help us with Self-Control. We must renounce the devil, the ungodly, that is not of God. We must reject and not partake of it. We must do what is Right. The saying goes, What would Jesus do? God always has a way out for us. He will not tempt us beyond what we can withstand. See 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Always be sober. If you are drunk or high on drugs, the devil can easily tempt you. You must be sober and trust God and God alone! When we feel tempted by the devil, tell him to get away, do not talk to him, and tell him go talk to Jesus!

A Quote from Billy Graham

Yes, Satan certainly is active today—and he always has been active, because his goal has always been to block God’s work. Whenever God is at work, you can be sure Satan also will be at work, counterattacking and trying to stop whatever God is doing.

The Bible doesn’t go into great detail about Satan and how he works; after all, our focus should be on God, not Satan. (If we concentrate mainly on Satan we’ll become either overly-fearful or overly-fascinated—and both are wrong.) But the Bible does tell us that the devil has a multitude of demons under his authority, just as God has the angelic hosts under His control to do His will.

Never forget two important truths about Satan (whose name means “Adversary”). First, he is real, and he will do everything he can to draw us away from Christ. Yes, he tempts us to do wrong—but most of all, he tempts us to turn away from God. The Bible says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Second, Satan is a defeated foe! By His death and resurrection Jesus Christ conquered Satan, and some day God will say, “Depart from me … into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). On whose side are you—Satan’s or Christ’s? Make sure of your salvation by giving your life to Christ today. (Billy Graham)

The above quote from Bill Graham’s answer there shows us why self-control is necessary too. As so does the Bible. If you need an answer ask God for direction and he will show you the passage he wants. Just like when we go to church. Ever notice that it seems the Sunday School lessons or the sermons seem to fit right in place with what is going on in our own lives? Well that is the Power of the Holy Spirit.

The advisory the devil, a roaring lion

The devil looks for those who he can devour. He is like a roaring lion. I like how Don McIntire of Dumplin Valley Baptist Church. He said it at our revival (Piedmont Baptist Church) the other day, the devil is a roaring lion with its teeth knocked out by Jesus. He doesn’t want anyone to come to Jesus. He wants the world to stay in darkness and evil. He is against God. The devil is smarter than we are. He does after all have over 6,000 years on us. Remember the devil also knows scriptures too. He will make us think what we are doing is right when it isn’t. That is why it is import to hide God’s word in your heart so you may not sin against God. That brings me also to wearing the Armor of God to help defend ourselves against the devil. Yes God is on our side and God always wins, we just need to be ready for when the devil attacks us at all angles. See 1 Thessalonians 5:8 as well.

Without self-control

Without self-control, we cannot be victorious over satan. We must show restraint, self-control and resist the devil. Tell him to go away in the Powerful name of Jesus Christ! Self-Control can cause to go even further and further away from God. Yes we will all fall and give in at times, but the power of the Holy Spirit will correct us and show us when we do go astray and help us get back on track. Another way to avoid self-control remove all hindrances that can cause you to fall. Stop going to the places where you do show lack of self-control. Ask God for guidance and help. Confess your sins! Seek help from fellow Christians, your truest friends! They are the ones that will lead you closer to God not away from God. They are the ones that pray for you and lay their hands on you when you need the uplifting.

Reader involvement

What are ways you show self-control?
What is your favorite Bible verse to help you with Self-Control?
What comments or suggestions do you have?
What concerns do you have?
Feel free to leave a comment below!

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Check out the complete Fruit of the Spirit Series.


Fruit of the Spirit – Series


About the Author

Author: Steve Patterson

A Christian Blogger that enjoys blogging about the Bible, Theology, God, Jesus Christ, Christian Music, Family, Cats, Odd Holidays, sewing and much more. I have been blogging since 2004, however, I have been blogging on Courageous Christian Father since 2012. I enjoy listening to Christian Music. I am married with 1 daughter, 2 step-sons and a step daughter.

3 thoughts on “Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control

  1. I agree with you. I also believe though the self control can stem from a love of ones self, which comes from God. Love in ones self extends to a love of others. When we aresurrounded by love, self control tends to be a little easier to maintain. I still struggle with self control, often finding it extremely difficult, but with the grace of God, as you mention above, day by day it will become a part of me. Thansk for your post.

    1. I myself struggle with self-control too. I got away there for awhile, one reason it took me so long to get this series finished. I have other self-control issues too. God knows what they are, but with power of God and asking God to help me I can over come it. He will see me through. Thanks for the comment Cuan De Vries.

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