22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22


The ninth attribute of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.

The Greek word for self-control is egkrateia which means to “having dominion within or mastery over”. It carries the idea of a person mastering his or her feelings and passions. In other words, this person has taken dominion over the things that either hurt or hinder their spiritual growth and maturity. Such an ability is again accomplished only by God’s power in us through the Holy Spirit.

Self-control is an important life skill. If we allow our emotions to drive our thoughts and decisions, we actually put ourselves at greater risk of making mistakes and end up entering into wrong relationships.

When David exercised self-control, he spared Saul on multiple occasions. But when he lusted after Bathsheba, he lost self-control and committed adultery with her and later even plotted Uriah’s death. When Cain lost control of his jealousy, he murdered his brother, Abel. When Moses lost control over his temper, he forfeited his role of leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land. When Samson lost control over his tongue, he lost his hair and the incredible strength of God left him and he also became blind.

Self-control is the Holy Spirit’s shield over our hearts repelling temptations and keeping us on God-established path for our lives. This brings us life and peace and real joy.

Having this Spirit-filled self-control empowers you to walk circumspectly before God withstanding any unwholesome urges and resisting negative peer pressure. In the context of Galatians, the Apostle Paul saw the value of self-control by the Spirit in order to keep the believers from falling into the works of the flesh.

Free yourself from the captivity of the flesh and replace it with the captivating love of God in Christ. By walking continually with His Spirit, allow God to empower and transform you into the likeness of His Son. There you will find the grace you need for every breakthrough and claim the victories that Christ has won on behalf of you at the cross.


Is there any area of my life that I want God to give me self-control?

© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.