5 Inspiring Self-Control Examples from the Bible & Growth Tips

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In my journey through the Bible, I’ve discovered that self-control isn’t just a modern-day virtue; it’s a timeless principle deeply rooted in scripture. From athletes in strict training to the ultimate gift of salvation, the Bible is a treasure trove of wisdom on mastering one’s desires and impulses.

Imagine facing mockery while pursuing a monumental task or dealing with anger without losing your cool. The Bible doesn’t shy away from these real-life scenarios.

Instead, it offers profound examples of self-control, showcasing how it’s possible to maintain integrity and faithfulness in the face of adversity. Let’s jump into these biblical lessons that still resonate powerfully today.

Key Takeaways

  • Self-control is a key virtue outlined in the Bible, illustrated through the actions of biblical figures such as Joseph, Jesus, and Paul, who demonstrated integrity and faithfulness despite temptation and adversity.
  • Recognized as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, self-control is essential for spiritual growth, making better decisions, and serving as a powerful testimony to others.
  • Exercising self-control offers significant rewards including improved decision-making, deeper spiritual maturity, and a stronger witness to the transformative power of God in one’s life.
  • Developing self-control as a Christian involves regular prayer and meditation on Scripture, leveraging accountability and support systems such as Bible study groups and accountability partners.
  • Strengthening self-control is portrayed not only as a personal achievement but as a manifestation of divine strength and a mechanism to bring glory to God.
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Examples of Self Control in the Bible

Self control is a fruit of the Spirit that’s evident in many biblical characters. Let’s dive deep into some compelling examples.

Joseph’s Self Control in Potiphar’s House

Joseph faced a major test of self control in Potiphar’s house. He was a young, handsome man, far from home and in a powerful position. Yet, when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, Joseph didn’t waver.

He said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9 NKJV). Joseph’s choice to flee, instead of succumbing to temptation, marks a defining moment of integrity and self control.

Jesus’ Self Control in the Wilderness

For forty days, Jesus fasted in the wilderness. He was hungry and at a physical low. That’s when the devil tried to tempt Him. But Jesus was unwavering.

He used Scripture to counter every temptation, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4 NKJV).

His resilience showcases the profound strength found in God’s Word and the power of self control in resisting temptation.

Paul’s Self Control in Prison

Imagine being jailed for doing the right thing. That was Paul’s reality. Yet, even in chains, he displayed remarkable self control. He didn’t lash out or despair. Instead, he sang praises to God and witnessed to the guards.

His letters from prison, filled with hope and faith, have inspired millions. Paul’s ability to remain purposeful and positive, converting his prison cell into a place of ministry, underscores the transformative power of self control.

In these narratives, we find that self control is more than just a personal virtue—it’s a testament to faith, a reflection of divine strength, and a tool for God’s glory.

Importance of Self Control in the Christian Faith

Self-control isn’t just a nice trait to have. It’s a game-changer in our spiritual journey. Let’s dive deeper into why it’s so critical.

Self Control as a Fruit of the Spirit

Paul nails it in Galatians 5:22-23 when he lists the nine fruits of the Spirit. Right there, alongside love, joy, and peace, is self-control. It’s not an optional add-on. It’s proof of the Spirit working in us. Think of it like a spiritual muscle that strengthens our relationship with God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV

The Rewards of Exercising Self Control

Why bother? The rewards are huge. Seriously.

  • Better decision-making: With self-control, we’re less likely to make choices we’ll regret.
  • Spiritual growth: It’s a clear sign we’re maturing in our faith.
  • Witnessing to others: Our self-control can be a powerful testimony.

Check this out:

Better DecisionsAvoids rash choices, leads to a more fulfilling life.
Spiritual GrowthSigns of maturity in faith, deeper relationship with God.
Witnessing to OthersOur life becomes a testimony to the power of God.

Self-control isn’t just about saying no to bad stuff. It’s about saying yes to a life that gloriously reflects God’s power in us. It’s putting God’s will above ours, showing the world what it means to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit.

Tips for Developing Self Control as a Christian

Self-control is a muscle that needs constant exercise. Luckily, the Bible provides many tools to help us strengthen this virtue. Let’s jump into some effective strategies.

Prayer and Meditation for Strengthening Self-Control

“Pray without ceasing,” says 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV). I’ve found that regular prayer and meditation are not just rituals. They are powerful practices that keep me connected to God’s will.

By focusing on God’s word, it becomes easier for me to say no to temptations and yes to His plans for me.

  • Start each day with a prayer.
  • Spend at least 5 minutes meditating on a Bible verse related to self-control.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Remembering this gives me the strength to overcome any challenges, especially those that require self-control.

Accountability and Support Systems

We’re not meant to walk this journey alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NKJV) states, “Two are better than one… For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.” Having a friend or a group that holds you accountable can be a game-changer.

  • Join a small Bible study group.
  • Find an accountability partner who shares your commitment to growing in self-control.

By sharing our struggles and victories, we provide and receive encouragement. This support not only helps us grow individually but also strengthens our community as a whole.

In this journey towards stronger self-control, prayer and community stand out as vital components. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I believe it also takes a community to nurture and grow a fruit of the Spirit within us.

By leaning into prayer and surrounding ourselves with a supportive community, we set the stage for remarkable growth in our walk with Christ.


Harnessing self-control is a journey that’s both personal and communal. Through prayer, meditation, and immersing ourselves in God’s word, we find the strength to grow this vital spiritual muscle.

But it’s not a solo try. The support and accountability from our community—be it through Bible study groups or a trusted accountability partner—play a crucial role.

As we walk this path, let’s remember the power of prayer and the value of our spiritual family in helping us achieve remarkable growth in our Christian life. It’s a journey well worth embarking on, filled with lessons and growth at every turn.

About Pastor Duke Taber

I am the Founding Pastor of Mesquite Worship Center. I have been in pastoral ministry since 1988. I am married and have 4 children.

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