3 Bible Tips: The Fruit of Self-Control and Self-Discipline
This fruit is last but not least in Paul's list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Perhaps self-control is listed last as the capstone—since it takes a lot of self-control to exercise the other eight virtues! One important measure of maturity is emotional control. Godly self-control is not human willpower, but power from God that enables us to govern our lives.
1. Often the best form of self-control is fleeing temptations.
"Flee" from a "stranger" (a teacher of lies), "flee sexual immorality" (as Joseph had to literally flee, Genesis 39:12), "flee from idolatry," flee "all kinds of evil," "flee also youthful lusts" (John 10:5; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:10-11; 2 Timothy 2:22).
2. Words and actions can be controlled if we first control our thoughts.
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, New International Version).
3. To be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, we must gladly submit to His rule and discipline over our lives.
Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23).
To learn much more about the spiritual fruit of self-control, see Self-Control: Governing Your Life by the Power of God.