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What does the Bible say about Self-Control

Updated on September 12, 2010

A Biblical look at Self-Control / Temperance

What is it?

  1. Self-Control or restraint of oneself or one's actions, feelings, one's emotions and impulses
  2. Temperance - Control over sensual desires... It indicates a self-control that masters all kinds of sensual desires, such as sexual desire or the desire for material comfort. Through temperance the Christian disciplines body and spirit, so that he is more capable of striving for his spiritual reward.. Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

What does the Bible say?

  • Love God and your neighbor – Exodus 20, Matthew 22:37-40
  • Fruit of the spirit is love...self control/temperance – Galatians 5:22-24
  • Hold your tongue – Proverbs 21:23, James 3
  • Do not be drunk with wine – Ephesians 5:18-19
  • Do not sin when you are angry – Ephesians 4:26


  • Joseph & his brothers - Genesis 37:3-11, 37:19-34, 45:1-13, 50:14-21
  • David did not kill Saul - 1 Samuel 23:19-24:22, 26:5-25
  • Daniel and friends did not eat the kings food – Daniel 1:8-16
  • Paul rejoiced in chains - Philippians 1:12-30

What did Jesus do?

  • Waited 4 days before going to raise Lazarus – Luke 11:4, 21, 32, 37-47
  • Did not fight back in the garden – Matthew 26:45-57
  • Did not fight back on the cross – Isaiah 53:7
  • Forgave those that crucified and mocked Him – Luke 23:34-47, 1 Peter 2:19-25

How should we respond?

  • Realize we have to give an account to God – Matthew 12:36, Romans 14:12, 1 Peter 4:5
  • Forgive / Do not let the sun set on our anger - Matthew 6:14-15, Ephesians 4:26
  • Do unto others as we would want them to do to us - Matthew 22:39, Luke 6:31
  • Set our minds on things above – Matthew 6:18-21, Philippians 2:5-7
  • Avoid temptations - Proverbs 1:10-19, Matthew 5:27-30, 1 Thessalonian 5:22
  • Pray!

Personal Application

  • ANGER = anger effects attitude, negativity, graciousness, encouragement, righteousness
  • ABC's - acknowledge tempt, beware of it, confess, depart from it


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