How to Bear the Fruit of Self-Control

Self-control has never been a popular virtue. Have you ever seen a t-shirt that says, “Faith, Hope, and Self-Control”? This fruit of the Spirit isn’t warm and fuzzy like love or soothing like peace. Instead, it speaks of grit, determination, and hard work. Self-control separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. It means the difference between growing spiritually and staying immature. Although it can be tough to exercise self-control, we can do it with God’s help!

Here are 4 steps to help you bear the fruit of self-control.


1) Recognize your sin nature and specific temptations.

Even after you believe on Jesus to save you, you still have a sin nature. Paul describes the struggle between our sin nature and our spirit in Romans 7:15, 17 (emphasis added).  

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” 

Our sin nature will always pull us toward disobeying God and committing sin. In our prison ministries, we help people who are dealing with many different temptations.

You may tempted to lie, to view pornography, to steal, or to abuse drugs. You may also struggle with not doing what you should do—whether that means procrastinating or not fulfilling your responsibilities. Self-control will help you overcome your battles with specific sins. 


2) Study what the Bible says about sin.

In Romans 6-8, the apostle Paul teaches us how to overcome sin. We need to recognize that, because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we are dead to sin. This means that sin doesn’t control us any longer. We have the power to say no to sin.  

Paul instructs us, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Romans 6:11-12)

Instead of being controlled by sin, we are free to obey God’s Word. We can serve God instead of being slaves to sin. Self-control will help us say no to sin and obey God instead.


3) Find Bible verses that address your specific struggles.

One of the keys to developing self-control is knowledge. In Hosea 4:6, God lamented the destruction of Israel, saying, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” The Bible is full of helpful principles and truths we can use in everyday life.

Whether you struggle with lying, gossip, or another sin, you can find Bible verses that will help you. Contact us at our prison ministries to learn more. We’d be happy to help you learn what the Bible says about your struggles. This will help you bear the fruit of self-control.


4) By God’s grace, replace sin with obedience.

To be truly effective, self-control must go beyond saying no to sin. It must also say yes to obeying God. Just getting rid of sin will leave us with an empty space in our hearts and lives. With God’s help, we need to fill that space with obedience. 

If you struggle with lying, start to speak the truth. If you struggle with gossip, start to praise others behind their back, and talk about your own news instead of others’ news. If you struggle with over-indulging in entertainment, start to read helpful non-fiction books or go for a walk. Self-control means learning to replace sin with obedience.

In reality, self-control is not something we can do by ourselves. We don’t have the willpower or determination it takes. But, if we have believed on Christ to save us, He can give us the power we need. 

When we depend on His help, we can bear the fruit of true self-control. 


Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email