80 Bible Verses about Self-control

Proverbs 25:28 ESV / 1,311 helpful votes

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV / 819 helpful votes

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV / 623 helpful votes

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV / 468 helpful votes

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV / 425 helpful votes

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV / 403 helpful votes

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Proverbs 16:32 ESV / 361 helpful votes

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV / 346 helpful votes

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

1 Peter 4:7 ESV / 273 helpful votes

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

Titus 2:11-14 ESV / 213 helpful votes

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Titus 1:8 ESV / 175 helpful votes

But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

1 Peter 5:8 ESV / 160 helpful votes

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Titus 2:12 ESV / 149 helpful votes

Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

Romans 12:1-2 ESV / 144 helpful votes

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Philippians 4:8 ESV / 129 helpful votes

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV / 126 helpful votes

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

1 Corinthians 9:25 ESV / 120 helpful votes

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV / 106 helpful votes

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Galatians 5:21 ESV / 106 helpful votes

Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:23 ESV / 100 helpful votes

Gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Romans 12:2 ESV / 91 helpful votes

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Corinthians 7:9 ESV / 84 helpful votes

But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

James 3:1-18 ESV / 78 helpful votes

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

1 Corinthians 7:5 ESV / 74 helpful votes

Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Matthew 6:33 ESV / 72 helpful votes

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV / 64 helpful votes

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV / 62 helpful votes

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

Ephesians 5:18 ESV / 55 helpful votes

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Matthew 5:28 ESV / 53 helpful votes

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 ESV / 51 helpful votes

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV / 49 helpful votes

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

1 Timothy 4:7 ESV / 46 helpful votes

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;

Philippians 4:13 ESV / 44 helpful votes

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Isaiah 28:7 ESV / 44 helpful votes

These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment.

1 Corinthians 5:11 ESV / 43 helpful votes

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

Luke 4:1-13 ESV / 42 helpful votes

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,

Titus 2:2 ESV / 36 helpful votes

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.

Isaiah 5:11 ESV / 35 helpful votes

Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!

1 Thessalonians 5:22 ESV / 34 helpful votes

Abstain from every form of evil.

Proverbs 20:1 ESV / 34 helpful votes

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Ephesians 6:1 ESV / 33 helpful votes

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Hosea 4:11 ESV / 32 helpful votes

Whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding.

James 1:19 ESV / 31 helpful votes

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

1 John 2:16 ESV / 28 helpful votes

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 Corinthians 15:33-36 ESV / 27 helpful votes

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

Luke 4:1-44 ESV / 27 helpful votes

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,

1 Corinthians 6:10 ESV / 25 helpful votes

Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Job 31:1 ESV / 25 helpful votes

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?

Genesis 39:1-23 ESV / 23 helpful votes

Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field.

2 Timothy 2:20-23 ESV / 22 helpful votes

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 ESV / 22 helpful votes

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

Galatians 5:16-17 ESV / 22 helpful votes

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Romans 12:1 ESV / 21 helpful votes

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

1 Timothy 2:9 ESV / 18 helpful votes

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

Romans 8:5-6 ESV / 17 helpful votes

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Titus 2:1-12 ESV / 16 helpful votes

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

Matthew 12:36 ESV / 15 helpful votes

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Romans 12:19 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 ESV / 13 helpful votes

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

Matthew 6:1-34 ESV / 13 helpful votes

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

1 Timothy 2:11-15 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV / 12 helpful votes

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Romans 5:6-8 ESV / 12 helpful votes

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Daniel 1:6-8 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.

1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV / 11 helpful votes

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

Romans 8:13 ESV / 10 helpful votes

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV / 9 helpful votes

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

1 Corinthians 6:12 ESV / 9 helpful votes

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

John 3:16 ESV / 9 helpful votes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 6:12 ESV / 9 helpful votes

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Proverbs 31:1-31 ESV / 8 helpful votes

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?” Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!” Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders.

James 3:18 ESV / 7 helpful votes

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

1 Samuel 24:1-7 ESV / 7 helpful votes

When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wildgoats' Rocks. And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul's robe. And afterward David's heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul's robe.

Colossians 3:16 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Psalm 141:3 ESV / 6 helpful votes

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Genesis 26:17-22 ESV / 6 helpful votes

So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.

Judges 16:1-31 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her. The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” And they surrounded the place and set an ambush for him all night at the gate of the city. They kept quiet all night, saying, “Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.” But Samson lay till midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron. After this he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, “Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”

Acts 24:24-25 ESV / 4 helpful votes

After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”

1 Samuel 1:1-6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb.

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