Biblical Self-Control: 10 Inspired Moments

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Self-control is a vital attribute that helps us navigate through life’s various situations. It is essential to develop self-control, and what better way to do so than to take inspiration from the rich examples found in the Bible.

In this article, we delve into the Bible’s stories to bring you ten inspiring moments that embody self-control. From Abigail’s remarkable intervention in 1 Samuel 25 to Cornelius’ disciplined self-control in Acts 10, the Bible narrates several examples of self-control that you can adopt in your life.

Join us as we explore these self-control stories that teach us valuable lessons about wisdom, restraint, and faith in the face of challenging situations. Through these biblical stories, you will discover how self-control can help you overcome life’s struggles and become a better person.

Abigail’s Remarkable Self-Control

One of the most striking examples of self-control in the Bible is found in 1 Samuel 25, where Abigail demonstrates her wisdom and self-control in dealing with David’s anger.

Abigail was married to Nabal, who had angered David by refusing to help him and his men. David, in a fit of rage, set out to attack Nabal and his household. When Abigail learned of David’s intentions, she immediately took action to prevent the violence.

In her encounter with David, Abigail showed remarkable self-control by speaking calmly and wisely. She acknowledged David’s feelings while also appealing to his sense of reason and faith in God. Her intervention not only prevented bloodshed but also earned her respect from David and his men.

Abigail’s story teaches us valuable lessons about the power of self-control and wisdom in dealing with challenging situations. By remaining composed and thoughtful, we can avoid escalating conflicts and achieve peaceful resolutions.

Abigail's Remarkable Self-Control

“Forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live.”

Boaz’s Demonstrated Self-Control

In the book of Ruth, Boaz serves as an excellent example of self-control in relationships. Boaz showed respect and kindness to Ruth, a widowed foreigner, even when there was no law requiring him to do so. He also followed the law of the land in his approach to marriage, setting an example for private conduct.

The relationship between Boaz and Ruth was not only marked by self-control but also by compassion and integrity. Boaz went out of his way to ensure that Ruth was safe and provided for, allowing her to work in his fields and making sure that his workers left extra grain for her to gather.

After Ruth’s late husband’s kinsman refused to marry her, Boaz willingly took responsibility for her care and future.

Boaz’s self-control and virtuous behavior eventually led to marriage to Ruth, and their union resulted in the birth of Obed, the grandfather of David.

self-control in relationships

Overall, Boaz’s example shows us that self-control is an essential aspect of building healthy relationships. It is easy to let our emotions rule our actions, but having self-control allows us to act wisely and respectfully towards others, even in challenging situations.

Nehemiah’s Exemplary Self-Control

As a governor and leader, Nehemiah showed exceptional self-control and prioritized the welfare of the people over personal gain. Unlike his predecessors who exploited their power, Nehemiah remained true to his values and feared God.

The Book of Nehemiah chapter 5, verses 14-19 recounts Nehemiah’s efforts to ease the financial burdens of his fellow Israelites, refusing to take advantage of his position to enrich himself.

Nehemiah’s actions demonstrate how self-control and leadership go hand in hand. By exercising self-restraint, Nehemiah set a positive example for others to follow, showcasing a commitment to the greater good and leading with integrity.

Nehemiah's Exemplary Self-Control

“I did not acquire any land, and all my servants were free people. As a leader, it was my duty to put the people first and serve them, without exploiting my position as governor for personal gain” – Nehemiah 5:14-19

Joseph’s Brothers’ Redemption Through Self-Control

The story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 42-45 is a powerful example of how self-control and remorse can lead to redemption. When Joseph’s brothers faced their past misdeeds during their second visit to Egypt, they demonstrated genuine remorse and self-control in the face of Joseph’s tests.

“We are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.” – Joseph’s brothers, Genesis 42:21

Judah, in particular, showed a transformation in character by offering himself as a substitute for Benjamin, taking responsibility for his past actions, and recognizing the wrongdoing of his brothers. Through their self-control and admission of guilt, Joseph’s brothers were ultimately redeemed, and their family reconciled.

Joseph’s story is a testament to the power of forgiveness and self-control, illustrating the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions and seeking redemption through sincere remorse.

Joseph in Egypt

The Four Lepers’ Self-Controlled Act of Kindness

In the book of 2 Kings 7:3-9, we read about the incredible story of four lepers exercising self-control and compassion. Amidst the siege of Samaria, the lepers were faced with starvation, so they decided to seek refuge in the enemy camp.

To their surprise, the enemy had fled, leaving behind abundant resources. Realizing that their selfishness would lead to condemnation, they chose to inform the city of Samaria instead of keeping the news to themselves.

Their decision to extend mercy led to the salvation of the starving people of Samaria. This act of self-control and compassion also demonstrates the benefits of stepping outside of your circumstances and being motivated by a desire to benefit others.

Let this story inspire you to practice self-control and kindness towards others, even if you are facing challenges in your life. Who knows, your act of kindness might just change someone’s life for the better!

Four lepers

The Widow at Zarephath’s Faithful Self-Control

Amidst a severe famine, the widow at Zarephath encountered Prophet Elijah, who asked her for water and bread. The widow had only enough flour and oil left to make one last meal for herself and her son before they starved to death.

Still, she chose to exercise self-control and trust in God by sharing her meager provisions with Elijah. She believed God would provide, even if it resulted in her own death.

Her act of faith and obedience led to a miraculous provision that sustained her family and Elijah for days until the famine ended. Through self-control and unwavering trust in God, she became an example of faithfulness to all who heard her story.

“The jar of flour will not be used up, and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.” -1 Kings 17:14 (NIV)

Widow at Zarephath

Obed-Edom’s Reverent Self-Control

Obed-Edom’s unwavering faith and self-control by hosting the ark of the covenant in his house for three months offers lessons in obedience and reverence to God.

In 2 Samuel 6:10-12 and 1 Chronicles 26:4-8, the story depicts King David’s initial fright at the death of Uzzah, who touched the ark.

Consequently, David halted the ark’s transportation and kept it in the house of Obed-Edom, where it stayed for three months. Throughout the duration, Obed-Edom displayed self-control by treating the ark with reverence and honor.

Obed-Edom's Reverent Self-Control

The scriptural account testifies how Obed-Edom and his household prospered during the time he hosted the ark. It would be an inspiration to believers to exhibit self-control and obedience to God to receive abundant blessings in return.

Cornelius’ Disciplined Self-Control

Cornelius, a Roman centurion, is an embodiment of self-control and piety in the book of Acts 10. His devoutness and generous acts towards the poor and needy demonstrate his understanding of stewardship and gratitude towards God’s blessings.

His disciplined lifestyle, characterized by regular prayers and acts of giving, caught God’s attention, resulting in a significant vision.

Cornelius’ adherence to self-control paved the way for the inclusion of Gentiles to receive the gospel.

The angel of the Lord told him that his prayers and giving had “come up as a memorial offering before God,” indicating Cornelius’ exemplary character and dedication to God’s will. As a result, he was baptized along with his family, and many Gentiles came to believe in Christ.

Cornelius’ life serves as a reminder that self-control and piety are vital for a Christian’s spiritual growth and a catalyst for God’s blessings. May his story inspire you to practice self-control in your daily life and bring glory to God.

Lydia’s Attentive Self-Control

In the book of Acts, we encounter Lydia, a prominent businesswoman and purveyor of fine purple cloth. During her encounter with Paul and Silas in Acts 16:14-15, Lydia displayed self-control and openness to the gospel.

She listened attentively to their message and showed hospitality, inviting them to stay at her home. Lydia’s heart was receptive, and she eagerly embraced the message of salvation, becoming one of the first converts in Philippi.

Lydia’s example reminds us of the importance of being open to new experiences and ideas, without letting our preconceived notions control us. By exercising self-control and a willingness to learn, we can have a transformative encounter with the gospel, just like Lydia did.

The Bereans’ Diligent Self-Control

Self-control is a vital aspect of the Christian faith, and the Bereans in Acts 17:10-12 offer a powerful example of this.

As Paul preached to them, the Bereans didn’t merely accept his teachings at face value. Instead, they examined the Scriptures daily to validate his words. This diligent approach demonstrates the importance of self-control and critical thinking when studying the Bible.

By exercising self-control and examining the Scriptures, the Bereans not only increased their knowledge but also strengthened their faith. It allowed them to discern truth from falsehood and avoid impulsive judgment.

As Christians, we can learn from the Bereans’ example by approaching Scripture with self-control and a desire to validate its teachings. By doing so, we can deepen our understanding of God’s word and strengthen our faith in Him.

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Allan Wilson is the creator of the Scriptural Thinking Affirmations Package. Featuring over 200 minutes of mp3 audio Bible affirmations complete with background music. The package comes with the original affirmations PDF ebook and many bonus affirmation Bible studies as well. The affirmations are designed to help you call to remembrance all of the wonderful benefits of being in Christ and the marvelous privilege of being a child of God.