Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. It is physical and emotional self-mastery, particularly in situations of intense provocation or temptation. It isn’t talked about alot and I surely can use more of it in my life. I can use a ton of it. Paul reminds me “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
It is worth pointing out while it is called “self-control”, it comes from the Holy Spirit. It is not something I can just will, on my own, to happen. But it is still self-control. I have to make choices.
Self-control is the mark of a wise person
Self-control is a key aspect of wisdom. The book of Proverbs shows many examples. King Solomon understood the way to wisdom.
- Proverbs 29:11 (NASB) — A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.
- Proverbs 1:1–5 (NASB) — The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.
Self-control is an aspect of a disciples character
Jesus calls us, as disciples, to learn self-control. Self-control comes as a fruit of the Spirit. It is part of the steps to growth outlined by Peter. It comes between knowledge and perseverance. Jesus gives us knowledge on how to live. Self-control allows me to persevere in learning,
- Galatians 5:22–23 (NASB) — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
- Titus 2:11–12 (NASB) — For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.
- 1 Timothy 3:2 (NASB) — An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
- Titus 1:8 (NASB) — but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,
- Titus 2:2 (NASB) — Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
- Titus 2:5–6 (NASB) — to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;
- 2 Peter 1:5–9 (NASB) — Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.