Self-Control Alisa Nicaud Word Nerd Wednesday

Word Nerd Wednesday – Self Control

My blogging buddy Alisa Nicaud joins us today for this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday post which is the last in the Fruit of the Spirit series: Self Control.


What is Self Control?

World definition (Google): the ability to control oneself.

Biblical definition (Vine’s Expository): controlling the power of the will under the operation of the Spirit.

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

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

When my son was younger one of the things he struggled with the most was self control. He loved people. And he loved to entertain them. There was no lengths he wouldn’t go, to provide entertainment to a crowd (including doing a cannonball at his baptism and nearly landing on the pastor’s wife). I’m happy to say that he has grown in the area of self control since 3rd grade.

This is a funny example of the lack of self control (at least now), but as we grow and develop as Christians, the reality of how hard it is to maintain self control can be daunting.

Whether it’s a bad habit, a sin, a fleshly desire or something as simple as a response, learning self control is not something that’s easily attained just by sheer will.

How do we get self control?

As I studied the definitions of self control I was intrigued by the similarities I found in the two meanings. They were almost identical in wording, except for a few small, but important, words added to the end. If we look at the Vine’s Expository definition, we see this phrase attached:

under the operation of the Spirit.

The world tells us that it is our job to gain self control. It screams at us to correct our behavior and produce the fruit of self control without the power we need to attain it. You see, true self control requires a guidance from the Holy Spirit. As a fruit of the Spirit, self control is grown by an intimate time spent with God. The more we connect with Him and spend time in His presence, the more self control we have.Alisa Nicaud Word Nerd Wednesday Self Control

The Fruit of Self Control

One resource I love to use when digging into word studies is the Webster 1828 Dictionary. However, when I looked up the word self control, it returned no results. Going back to the original context of Galatians 5:22-23, I realized why. In the King James Version, the word used for self control is actually temperance.

What is temperance?


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines temperance as habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions.

The insight to this new word gave me an even greater clarity as to what the fruit of self control really looks like grown in a believer’s life.

When we accept Christ, He comes to live in our hearts. Our hearts are changed right away.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 36:26

However, our souls (mind, will and emotions) are being renewed.

“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”

Ephesians 4:23

As we draw close to Jesus, letting Him work in us, tempering us, we grow more in His likeness. Our flesh becomes weaker, but our spirits become stronger.

The Psalmist says it this way…

“Take delight in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart. “

Psalm 37:4 NIV

Spending time with Jesus, causes us to change. Our fleshly desires begin to melt away and He places new desires in us. It’s not us attempting to control ourselves. It is allowing ourselves to be controlled by His Spirit. As we submit to His leading, we begin to outwardly portray the fruit of self control.

Self Control is not us attempting to control ourselves. It is allowing ourselves to be controlled by His Spirit. @AlisaNicaud #wordnerdwednesday #fruitofthespirit #selfcontrol Click To Tweet


Meet Alisa

About the author:

Alisa Nicaud currently lives just north of New Orleans, LA with her husband Philip Nicaud, their five children and their dog, Roux. She owns a boutique coaching practice and is the founder of the blog, Flourishing Today. Through her own tragedies, Alisa is intimately familiar with the struggles of anxiety, fear, insecurity and depression. Alisa’s willingness to be transparent gives her a unique advantage in relating to women from all walks of life and leadership. She freely shares helpful hints and practical encouragement rooted in Biblical truth in her posts and resources. Her passion is to help women grow in faith and walk in purpose. You can learn more by visiting her blog at

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Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerFaith On FireSusan B. MeadFaith Filled FridayGrace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridaySoul SurvivalRah Rah Link UpTell His StorySitting Among FriendsTestimony TuesdayPlanting Roots, and Fresh Market FridaySalt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope


Self-Control Alisa Nicaud Word Nerd Wednesday

8 thoughts on “Word Nerd Wednesday – Self Control

  1. Words about the partnership of self-control always inspire me to lean in to the gifting of it. One of my life’s biggest struggles is this fine line between stepping up and doing the hard thing while also trusting God for grace to say no to myself.

    1. I totally get that Michele! It’s not easy to surprise our flesh! It’s so easy for me to go off my feelings, and many times I do. But when I spend time in the Word, the fruit of self control begins to manifest!

  2. Very well-researched and thought-provoking post, Alisa! It truly isn’t up to us to control ourselves, but to let the Spirit be the One who “tempers” us. Thanks for sharing and I’m pinning and tweeting away! 😉

  3. Alisa,thank you for this post about self control,thanks to you I need to stay close to the scriptures and spend more time being intimate with God ,when a person has been away to long from God things get rough,I am getting through a tough time in dealing with reaction to Guillen Barred Syndrom; I was touched by all the love and support that I was receiving from even total strangers,and that was when I started to get back to studying my Bible again,when I was in the hospital all the thoughts about my problems with self control on certain things never even come to mind; now they are back and hitting me harder, The Intentional Daily Bible Reading has been wonderful for me, and digging deeper into your posts and one other on Pinterest ,,my I found some daily Biblical Devotions that hit me in the most widely wonderful way and your passages that I have been reading all day about Self Control hit it on the money on every single situation that we as Christians run into in our daily lives,my bouts with my situation are deep and frustrating to get rid of; reading these passages and staying close to God and listening for that still small voice of the Holy Spirit a lot clearer;Thank you Alisa.

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