Christian Biblical Counsel: SELF-CONTROL, SELF-DISCIPLINE

1.   Lack of self-control brings misery.

Prov. 25:28. Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.

2.   One who gives full vent to his anger acts like a fool; one who keeps himself under control is wise.

Prov. 29:11. A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.

3.   Every Christian can be self-controlled; it’s a fruit of the Spirit.

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

4.   Self-discipline is a gift of God.

2 Tim. 1:7. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

5.   We are commanded to be self-controlled.

1 Peter 1:13. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

6.   One can and must develop self-control—put a lot of effort into it.

2 Peter 1:5–6. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness.

7.   Both old and young alike must learn self-control.

Titus 2:2–6. That the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded.

8.   There is a time for everything. To be self-controlled is to do everything in its time.

Eccles. 3:1–8.

9.   We can control our thinking.

2 Cor. 10:5. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

10. Exercising self-control is walking in the light.

1 Thess. 5:4–8. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

11. Be self-controlled in your talking; control your tongue.

Prov. 20:19. He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.

See also Communication, for more on exercising self-control in talking.

12. Exercise self-control and say no to all ungodliness.

Titus 2:11–12. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.

13. Be motivated by Christ’s redeeming love.

Titus 2:13–14 … Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

14. Be neither wishy-washy, nor easily moved by others.

1 Cor. 15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.[1]


[1] Kruis, J. G. (1994). Quick scripture reference for counseling (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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